Apple to get OpenAI board observer seat for integrating ChatGPT in iOS 18. Everything we know so far

APPLE-OPENAI-BOARD:Apple poised to get OpenAI board observer role as part of AI pact, Bloomberg News reports

Livemint
Updated3 Jul 2024, 09:21 AM IST
Phil Schiller, head of Apple's App Store and former marketing chief, will join OpenAI's board as an observer, as part of a landmark AI agreement announced last month
Phil Schiller, head of Apple’s App Store and former marketing chief, will join OpenAI’s board as an observer, as part of a landmark AI agreement announced last month(REUTERS)

Apple announced its partnership with OpenAI at its WWDC 2024 event earlier this year. It was later revealed that while the new partnership would potentially give OpenAI access to millions of iPhone users, Apple wouldn't be paying the company to use its technology in iOS 18. However, a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurnman has revealed that Apple is also getting an observer role at OpenAI as part of the deal it has worked out with the Sam Altman-led company.

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The report states that Phil Schiller, head of Apple's App Store and former marketing chief, has been chosen to take on the role of board observer. The observer role would mean that Schiller could attend OpenAI board meetings, but would not be able to vote on board decisions.

Schiller had stepped down as Apple's marketing chief in 2020 and is currently employed as an "Apple Fellow". In addition to overseeing the App Store, the veteran also looks after Apple's product launch events. Aside from his work at Apple, Schiller is also a director at medical technology company Illumina Inc.

The board observer role will put Apple in a similar position to Microsoft, a company with which it has a mixed history. While Microsoft and Apple are fierce competitors in the PC race, the Satya Nadella-led company has also offered lucrative deals in the past to replace Google as the default search engine on iPhones.

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Gurnman says that the addition of Apple to the OpenAI board could be an issue if discussions about AI initiatives between Microsoft and OpenAI are discussed at these board meetings. However, he notes that board members typically agree to recuse themselves and leave meetings when sensitive discussions take place.

Notably, Microsoft has invested around $13 billion in OpenAI and also gives the AI startup access to many of its cloud and computing resources needed to run ChatGPT and other AI technologies.

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First Published:3 Jul 2024, 09:21 AM IST
HomeCompaniesNewsApple to get OpenAI board observer seat for integrating ChatGPT in iOS 18. Everything we know so far

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