Apple Plays Evil: Blocks ChatGPT Based Email From Its App Store For This Interesting Reason!

Rohit Kulkarni

Rohit Kulkarni

Mar 08, 2023

As per the communication sent from Apple to the app maker, Apple has delayed the approval of an email-app update with AI-powered language tools over concerns that it could generate inappropriate content for children.

Apple Plays Evil: Blocks ChatGPT Based Email From Its App Store For This Interesting Reason!

However, the software developer happens to be in disagreement with Apple’s decision.

Concerns by Apple Over Inappropriate Content Filer Capabilities of BlueMail

There are broad concerns about whether language-generating artificial-intelligence tools, such as ChatGPT, are ready for widespread use.

These steps were taken last week to block an update of the email app BlueMail (due to the ChatGPT usage in it) because of concerns that a new AI feature in the app could show inappropriate content.

A new AI feature of BlueMail uses OpenAI’s latest ChatGPT chatbot to help automate the writing of emails using the contents of prior emails and calendar events.

Now, let’s dig deep into how the ChatGPT helps automating the email creation. ChatGPT allows.

ChatGPT allows users to converse with an AI in seemingly humanlike ways and is capable of advanced long-form writing on a variety of topics.

Apple did not have concern about the AI generate content but the fact that there was no system in place currently to filter out the content.

In a message to the developer reviewed by the Journal, the app review team of Apple said to the BlueMail that “Your app includes AI-generated content but does not appear to include content filtering at this time”.

As per the documents, 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.

On this, Mr. Volach said that though the app 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. 

BlueMail Finds Apple’s Decision Unfair & Partial

Calling this request from Apple as both unfair and partial, Mr. Volach said that other apps with similar AI functions without age restrictions are already allowed for Apple users.

“Apple is making it really hard for us to bring innovation to our users,” said Mr. Volach.

On this app rejection, an Apple spokesperson said that BlueMail could challenge the rejection through its App Review Board appeal process.

Let’s have a look at the concerned controversial technology and how it works.

One of the most closely watched developing technologies in decades is the generative AI which was primarily kicked off by ChatGPT, a chatbot created by OpenAI.

Recently the technology by ChatGPT was ingrained by Microsoft in its Bing search engine. 

However, the early testers raised eyebrows over the Bing search engine powered by ChatGPT due to the responses that were generated by the chatbot. The concerns were regarding the responses generated by the chatbot, including incorrect information as well as seemingly unhinged and angry responses.

When this reached the ears of Microsoft, then the company defended the Bing upgrade as a work in progress, having invested billions in OpenAI.

The another side to this event is also how the tech company Apple is closely watching the new technology and the risks it poses. 

Its attempt to to set an age restriction to help moderate content from a language-model-based AI also bolsters the fact that company 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.

An updated version of Bing smartphone app with the ChatGPT functionality was recently released by Microsoft, on an updated version of its Bing smartphone app with the ChatGPT functionality to Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Play Store.

There is an age restriction of 17 and older in iPhone App Store, which is what our main story is about.

On the Google Play store, Bing has no age restrictions.

Bing in the App Store already had a 17-and-up age restriction because of the app’s ability to find adult content, a Microsoft spokesman said.

However, the after the Apple rejection of BlueMail, Mr. Volach said Apple used a test version of the upgraded app every day before he got a response and also that on the Google Play app store, it was able to update its Android BlueMail app without any requests for age restriction or further content filtering.

Despite the app creating the content filtering, and placing a higher age restriction on the app could limit distribution to potential new users, Apple’s denial to BlueMail seems unfair targeting to BlueMail.Mr. Volach also said many other apps that advertise a ChatGPT-like feature listed on Apple’s App Store don’t have age restrictions.

“We want fairness,” said Mr. Volach. “If we’re required to be 17-plus, then others should also have to.”

Rohit Kulkarni
Rohit Kulkarni
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