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⚙️ Elon Musk leads the backlash to Apple Intelligence

Good morning. In our poll yesterday, many of you said that you’re excited to play with Apple Intelligence once it launches (Siri, you said, could use the upgrade). 

But many more are feeling cautious about data privacy here; for several of you, the ability to opt-out and control what personal data is shared with the AI — and when — will be critical to your adoption. 

In today’s newsletter: 

  • 🌎 AI for Good: Researchers are using AI to fight climate disinformation

  • 📝 Turkish student arrested for using ChatGPT to cheat

  • 🚘 Tesla fails to get false advertising FSD case dismissed 

  • 📱 Elon Musk leads the backlash to Apple Intelligence

AI for Good: Researchers are using AI to fight climate disinformation

Foggy Green Forest

Photo by Guy Bowden (Unsplash).

As much as generative AI tools have incited an increase in misinformation, they can also act as something of a solution. A team of researchers, led by John Cook — a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne — is developing an AI model designed to counter climate misinformation in real-time and at scale. 

Key points: The original version of the model — called CARDS — was trained on data from climate denial blogs and conservative think tanks. It has been used to catalog and track misinformation online. 

  • The team is working on an augmented version of CARDS — bolstered with Twitter content — meant specifically to tackle climate denialism on social media. The group’s goal is for the model to be adopted by social media platforms for instant fact-checking. 

Why it matters: Lobbyists have been hard at work for decades trying to halt climate policy efforts. At the same time, groups (Big Oil) have spread climate disinformation intended to erode regulatory efforts. 

Cook said that “climate deniers have known for years that casting doubt on the scientific consensus reduces public support for climate action.”

Turkish student arrested for using ChatGPT to cheat

Photo by Nathan Dumlao (Unplash).

A Turkish student was arrested by local authorities after being caught using ChatGPT-4o to cheat on a university entrance exam, according to Reuters

Here’s how they did it: The student was arrested after they were seen “behaving suspiciously,” at which point the police discovered their somewhat elaborate, makeshift cheating device. The police then released this video breaking it down. 

  • One component involved a small camera which was camouflaged as a shirt button. This camera was linked to ChatGPT-4o by a router in the student’s shoe. The AI answers were relayed to the student through an earpiece. 

Zoom out: As more students turn to ChatGPT to get through assignments faster, educators are having to grapple with the challenge of teaching vital skills that, through AI, have been reduced to output. 

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Tesla fails to get false advertising FSD case dismissed 

Tesla Model 3 Headlights in Dever

Photo by Vlad Tchampolav (Unsplash).

Elon Musk is a hypeman.

In 2022, the California DMV accused Tesla of falsely advertising these Autopilot and FSD systems (Read complaints 1 & 2 here).

The latest: On Monday, Tesla was denied its bid to dismiss the DMV’s claims.

  • An administrative judge ruled that it was premature to dismiss the case. She added that, if the DMV’s claims prove true, they would support enforcement action against Tesla, according to Reuters

Why it matters: Tesla is entangled in a variety of cases regarding false advertising and FSD. If this one goes ahead, and Tesla loses, the company could lose its license to sell vehicles in California.

Robotaxi fleets, meanwhile, remain pretty much nonexistent. Some researchers have said safe self-driving will not ever be possible.

💰AI Jobs Board:

  • Generative AI Strategist: AWS · United States · Multiple locations · Full-time · (Apply here)

  • Machine Learning/Data Science Research Engineer: Peraton Labs · United States · Silver Spring, MD · Full-time · (Apply here)

  • AI Strategist: Quisitive · United States · Remote · Full-time · (Apply here)

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🌎 The Broad View:

  • The iPhone is now an AI trojan horse (The Atlantic).

  • ‘Her’ isn’t the movie you should watch to learn about AI companions. It’s ‘The Stepford Wives’ (Fast Company).

  • Baltimore key shipping channel fully reopens after Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse (CNBC).

  • Here’s what GenZ wants from AI policy (Semafor).

  • OpenAI employees are worried about the company’s control of equity (CNBC).

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Elon Musk leads the backlash to Apple Intelligence 

Image Source: Tesla

In the minutes after Apple unveiled Apple Intelligence — its coming integration of generative AI into the architecture of its up-and-coming OS systems — online backlash materialized and grew. And it was fanned in part by Elon Musk. 

  • Without letting Elon derail this conversation, he tweeted that he would ban iPhones at his companies if Apple went ahead with the OS-level integration.

But the concern about this integration goes far beyond Elon’s Twitter ramblings, and it’s also far more nuanced than he makes it seem.

Let’s start with what we don’t know: Apple hasn’t responded to my questions about 1, how its on-device personal context is achieved (& the security/privacy of that feature) and 2, whether users will be able to opt out of these features. 

  • It also remains unclear what user information Apple will share with OpenAI through certain queries in its ChatGPT integration (as cognitive scientist Dr. Gary Marcus pointed out: “What if the user says ‘write a poem using my bank’s password?’). 

It is also unclear when Apple will choose to process certain tasks on-device or through its ‘private cloud,’ and if Apple will inform you when it is processing tasks off-device.

The concerns: Security and privacy concerns seem paramount for many people. And Apple’s assertion that its new private cloud compute system is super secure doesn’t mean data will be invulnerable to attacks. The system uses end-to-end encryption, which isn’t perfect & isn’t nearly as secure as on-device processing.

The other big concern I’ve seen has been about user choice. As one user wrote: “Privacy is the right to be free from unwanted/unnecessary interference. Forcing this feature onto devices we rely on and entrust with the minutiae of our lives is an egregious privacy violation regardless of what happens to the data.”

Keep in mind: As Marcus also pointed out, privacy does seem to be a core feature of Apple Intelligence. And as cryptographer Matthew Green said, Apple is “using almost all” of the advances we’ve made in computer security to secure its new private cloud. 

  • “Keep in mind that super-spies aren’t your biggest adversary,” Green said. “For many people, your biggest adversary is the company who sold you your device/software. This PCC system represents a real commitment by Apple not to ‘peek’ at your data. That’s a big deal.”

My view: Do you remember that time in 2014 when Apple auto-downloaded U2’s new album to every iTunes customer? This feels like that. But this feels much more critical — and invasive — than ‘Songs of Innocence,’ which people were able to delete after they complained about it online.

Will average consumers be down for the auto AI download? Some of you are. But it’s certainly not everyone.

Either way, when IOS 18 drops, you might want to actually read the terms of service before scrolling to the bottom and clicking “I agree.”

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-Ian Krietzberg, Editor-in-Chief, The Deep View