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Quid pro quo: Here's what Apple gets from OpenAI for integrating ChatGPT into iPhones

Baking ChatGPT into iOS 18 has tightened the Apple-OpenAI relationship.

Published onJuly 3, 2024

Siri versus ChatGPT
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • The ChatGPT integration agreement will reportedly grant Apple Fellow Phil Schiller an observer role on OpenAI’s board.
  • While the observer role doesn’t encompass voting or decision-making, it does provide access to board meetings and the company’s insights.
  • Schiller hasn’t started attending OpenAI board meetings yet, as this arrangement won’t take effect until later this year.

During WWDC24’s opening keynote, Apple announced it would integrate ChatGPT into iOS 18 later this year. This allows users to send their queries to OpenAI’s chatbot when Siri’s responses are insufficient. While this partnership reportedly doesn’t involve financial compensation, it could get Apple an observer role on OpenAI’s board.

According to Bloomberg, Apple Fellow Phil Schiller is getting an observer role on OpenAI’s board later this year. Although this position does not grant Schiller voting or decision-making privileges at the company, it will still grant him access to board meetings. This would give Apple an idea of what’s happening at OpenAI and its direction.

Given that Microsoft is OpenAI’s biggest backer, having Schiller on the board could cause some issues. The report explains:

Having Microsoft and Apple sit in on board meetings could create complications for the tech giants, which have been rivals and partners over the decades. Some OpenAI board meetings will likely discuss future AI initiatives between OpenAI and Microsoft — deliberations that the latter company may want Schiller excluded from. Board observers often do oblige and exit meetings during discussions that are seen as sensitive.

Besides ChatGPT, rumors point to Apple integrating Google Gemini into iOS 18 this fall. If this partnership comes to fruition, iPhone users would be able to choose between two different AI providers instead of being limited to OpenAI’s offering.

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