Apple has delayed an update of the BlueMail app which added a new AI feature powered by the ChatGPT chatbot.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the tech giant has blocked the update over concerns that AI could generate inappropriate content for children. However, Ben Volach, the co-founder of BlueMail developer Blix Inc. disagrees with the decision.
Apple highlights ChatGPT could show inappropriate content to children
ChatGPT is a new AI model designed by OpenAI which interacts in a conversational, human-like, way to answer follow-up questions, challenge incorrect premises, admit its mistakes, and more.
Recently, Microsoft integrated ChatGPT with the Bing search engine which has raised several red flags about the technology. “Early testers grew concerned with responses generated by the chatbot, including incorrect information as well as seemingly unhinged and angry responses.”
Therefore, Apple has asked Blix to increase its age restriction to 17 from 4 or add content filters in the document to the developer because the new update was using the ChatGPT chatbot to automate writing emails using the contents of prior emails and calendar events.
The app-review team said that because the app could produce content not appropriate for all audiences, BlueMail should move up its age restriction to 17 and older, or include content filtering, the documents show. Mr. Volach says it has content-filtering capabilities. The app’s restriction is currently set for users 4 years old and older.
Apple’s age restriction for 17 and older is for categories of apps that may include everything from offensive language to sexual content and references to drugs.
Accusing the tech company of unfairly treating the update, Volach told the publisher that other apps with ChatGPT functionality exist on the App Store like Bing for iOS. However, he failed to mention that Bing already has 17 years or older age restriction.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has often spoken highly about the potential of AI technology in offering innovative features but has not ventured into generative AI. Thus, the company’s rejection of BlueMail’s new update shows that it has a close eye on the tech which could affect iOS security.
Apple’s attempt to set an age restriction to help moderate content from a language-model-based AI is an indication the tech giant is closely watching the new technology and the risks it poses. The company has long said it must carefully curate and review what software can be accessed on the iPhone and iPad through its App Store to keep its products private and secure.
BlueMail is available on the App Store with in-app purchases starting from $6.99. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Mac and requires iOS 12.0 or later and Apple Silicon Mac running on macOS 11.0 or later.