Apple seems wary of artificial intelligence. On Thursday, March 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company has banned an App Store update for the BlueMail email app that incorporated ChatGPT. A contradictory policy change, according to its co-founder.
The news came a week after the company pushed its update to the App Store. In a message to the developers of the BlueMail email app, Apple’s app store review board refuses to validate their new update. In question: the incorporation of artificial intelligence ChatGPT in the application to automatically write your emails.
The cause of Apple’s anger is clearly explained in this message: Your app includes AI-generated content, but it doesn’t appear to include content filtering at this time “, quotes the economic newspaper Wall Street Journal,who denounces the case on Thursday, March 2.
Apple mistrusts ChatGPT
Added functionality to the app for iPhone, iPad and Mac does not seem problematic at first glance. Specifically, BlueMail offers its users to take advantage of the text generation capabilities of ChatGPT (an artificial intelligence created by OpenAI and popular for its ability to mimic human typing) to automatically write emails based on their contacts and calendar appointments. .
See BlueMail GEM AI in action as it generates an email addressing unfair behavior by Apple. Apple persists in blocking the @bluemail update, and this has led to frustration among consumers who cannot fully enjoy it. pic.twitter.com/ELsz6DNdnk
— Ben Volach 💎 (@quero) March 2, 2023
However, for the App Store moderation team, using the OpenAI service carries a risk: intentionally or unintentionally producing content that would not be appropriate for all ages, while BlueMail is classified as suitable for ages 4 and up in the Apple app store. A decision probably linked to the excesses of ChatGPT integrated into Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Therefore, the company has blocked the update and asks the developers to change the age category of the email client to 17+.
Two weights, two measures
If the solution seems simple, this small change would have big consequences for BlueMail. Beyond reducing the chances of the app being discovered in the App Store, this “17 and overit is generally reserved for services that contain profanity, sex, or drug-related language.
Therefore, this solution is rejected by the co-founder of BlueMail, Ben Volach, who points out Apple’s contradictions: in a post on the social network Twitter, he states that other App Store apps use AI-generated text without this restriction : «If Apple has a new AI policy, it should be made public and apply to all app developers equally.».
If Apple has a new policy regarding AI, it should be made public and apply to all app developers equally, as Tim Cook testified in the congressional hearing.
Apple must not prevent any interruption in the functionality of BlueMail and the launch of our innovative artificial intelligence service. pic.twitter.com/XKWgXJXwX8
— Ben Volach 💎 (@quero) March 2, 2023
A complaint investigated by Apple
contacted byWall Street JournalApple says that developers can appeal the decision and that its Application Review Board is considering BlueMail’s complaint.
If BlueMail already tried in 2019 to challenge Apple’s decisions before the American courts, Ben Volach explains daily that he is not against complying with Apple’s requests… condition: “we want equity […]. If we are to be classified as 17+, then everyone else must be as well.»
Who knows now what Apple’s final decision will be: will it decide in favor of BlueMail, or will it apply a stricter policy towards all applications that use conversational AI? In any case, this small episode opens an interesting chapter in the way in which Apple will behave in the face of this type of technology within its AppStore.
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