Tech giant Apple did not approve an update to popular email app BlueMail that includes a ChatGPT-powered generative AI feature, saying its age rating should be 17+, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Powered by the most recent ChatGPT chatbot API of OpenAI, the feature would allow users to automatically create emails in line with the contents of previous emails and calendar events. However, the iPhone-maker told BlueMail’s developer Blix that this could result in inappropriate content for children, suggesting it to either raise its age rating to 17+ or include content filtering.
On its website, Apple says that apps with the 17+ rating may ‘’contain frequent and intense offensive language; frequent and intense cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence; and frequent and intense mature, horror and suggestive themes; plus sexual content, nudity, alcohol, tobacco and drugs which may not be suitable for children under the age of 17.’’
Currently, BlueMail’s age rating is 4+ on the App Store. Blix argues that it already offers content filtering and that raising the rating further could make the app less attractive to potential users. The developer also says that other apps that introduced similar AI-powered features are already available on the App Store with no age restrictions.
“Apple is making it really hard for us to bring innovation to our users,” said Ben Volach, co-founder of Blix.
An Apple spokesperson said that developers can challenge such app rejections using its App Review Board and that Blix’s complaint is being investigated.
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As generative AI continues to grab headlines boosted by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, product and service providers have entered a fierce race to embrace this rising technology. Earlier this week, social media giant Meta, the parent of Facebook and Instagram, announced that it has merged all of its AI teams into a one big group to accelerate the adoption of generative AI. The same day, Snap released its ChatGPT-powered AI chatbot named ‘’My AI’’ to its premium subscribers. Last month, Roblox introduced its two new AI-powered tools for easier game creation.
Meanwhile, Microsoft recently rolled out updates to its Bing and Microsoft Edge apps on the app stores, introducing a ChatGPT-powered search experience. Both of these apps have an age rating of 17+ on the App Store while they’re available for everyone on the Play Store, suggesting that Apple has taken a more cautious approach to generative AI than its main rival Google.