Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) blocked an update that adds a feature with a customized version of OpenAI’s GPT-3 large language model on the email app BlueMail, according to the co-founder of Blix, the app developer.
“Apple has blocked the BlueMail update and continues to treat BlueMail unfairly and to discriminate against us,” Blix’s Ben Volach told Reuters. “Other GPT-powered apps seem not to be restricted.”
The email app’s new feature uses GPT-3 to help automate writing emails based on the content of previous emails and calendar events. OpenAI’s revolutionary GPT-3’s biggest draw is that it can generate many different types of written content and “converse” in a human-like manner.
Apple rejected the app update last week, citing concerns over the app’s lack of content filtering, and that it could generate content not suited for young users. “Your app includes AI-generated content but does not appear to include content filtering at this time,” the tech giant’s app-review team reportedly told Blix.
But Volach argues that many other apps with ChatGPT-like features on the App Store do not carry the 17-plus age restriction that Apple requires BlueMail to add.
Blix’s complaint is currently being reviewed by Apple, a spokesman said. Developers can challenge a rejection through the App Store’s App Review Board appeal process.
But this isn’t the first time that Blix is butting heads with the tech giant. In 2019, the company filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple after it removed the BlueMail app from its Mac App Store. Apple claimed that it was removed for security reasons but Volach denies that there was ever a security issue. The company later ended up approving the email app.
Shortly before this incident, Apple launched the “Sign in with Apple” feature that allows users to log into an app without needing to enter personal information — prior to this, Blix had patented a similar feature.
The suit was dismissed and the federal judge ruled that Blix was unable to give evidence of Apple’s monopoly power and anticompetitive behavior.
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