With the recent popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, software companies across the globe are rushing to integrate AI-powered chatbots across their products, despite concerns from industry analysts. And while companies which launch these products on their own platforms are free to do so, it seems like apps powered by ChatGPT and hosted in third-party app stores will face a tougher time. Apple has recently blocked an App Store update for an email app which introduced ChatGPT integration.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple blocked an update to the BlueMail email app developed by Blix – this is the same company that has filed antitrust lawsuits against Apple many times. Basically, an update to the app featured integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT to automate the writing of emails but Apple expressed concern at this capability, saying that since this is AI-generated content without any filtering, it could be age-inappropriate for younger audiences. As such, it suggested Blix to either add content filtering or change the minimum age restriction to 17 years or older.
Blix co-founder Ben Volach disagrees with Apple’s stance, as he claims that the integration already has content filtering. And changing the age restriction to 17 years or older could have severe repercussions on his app’s discoverability considering that apps in this bracket usually have sexual content in them, reference to drugs, or strong language. BlueMail currently has an age rating of four years or older.
Volach also argued that apps with similar functionality are already offered in the App Store without age restrictions. Interestingly, Bing, which has the new AI integration, has a 17-years-old age rating that Apple recommends already, but this has always been the case due to the search engine’s ability to surface adult content.
For now, Apple has noted that it is investigating BlueMail’s complaint and that any other developers who face rejections can also appeal their case directly.
Source: WSJ (paywall)
Leave a Reply