Apple cracks down on ChatGPT apps with harsh age ratings

Apple is at loggerheads with email app BlueMail over its decision to give the app’s latest update a 17+ age restriction due to its integration with ChatGPT.

Apple is currently blocking the update because app developer Blix Inc. disagrees with the company’s stance on age-restricting BlueMail after rejecting the brand’s update application last week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

January 08, 2019, Hesse, Rüsselsheim: ILLUSTRATION – The App Store logo (M) is seen on the screen of an iPhone. Photo: Silas Stein/dpa (Photo by Silas Stein/image alliance via Getty Images)

Blix Inc. uses OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model in the latest version of BlueMail to bring AI chatbot features to the email app. However, Apple claims in the documents shared by Blix Inc. by posting that the app’s AI integration does not include content filtering, which led to the 17+ age restriction being recommended.

OpenAI’s proprietary ChatGPT, which remains in beta, is known for generating content that can be potentially offensive, including racial and ethnic bias, in addition to misinformation and offensive language. However, Blix Inc. co-founder Ben Volach told the publication that BlueMail has its own content filtering capabilities, which are detailed in its application to the Apple App Store. He also said that there are already apps in the App Store that include AI features that are not evaluated as rigorously.

In its current, non-updated iteration, the app is rated as suitable for ages four and up. The developer’s main concern is that the age restriction will prevent users from easily finding BlueMail in the app store and may make them reluctant to use the product.

However, BlueMail is not the only app being updated with AI and targeted. Microsoft recently implemented ChatGPT capabilities in its Bing search engine and faced the same hurdle when trying to update its mobile apps with AI functionality. A Microsoft spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that its latest update to its Bing-flooded ChatGPT mobile app in the Apple App Store is age-restricted to 17 and older, while it is not age-restricted in the Google Play Store.

While Apple isn’t officially in the AI ​​game, its App Store has been flooded with rogue and malware apps posing as ChatGPT alternatives. Among the first was an application called ChatGPT Chat GPT AI with GPT-3, which required payment before OpenAI introduced the ChatGPT Plus subscription level. The app was live for at least three weeks before it gained media attention as a fake, even garnering a rating of 4.6 out of 5 and over 13,000 reviews.

Despite its problems, which paralleled the issues found in the real ChatGPT, many were left wondering how the app passed Apple’s review process in the first place. Many legitimate developers may now be paying the price for such early fluctuations.

Currently, Blix Inc. can challenge the rejection only through Apple’s App Review Board, an Apple spokesperson told the WSJ.

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