Gurman Just Pantsed the WSJ on Their Report About Apple and Meta Working on an AI Deal

Salvador Rodriguez, Aaron Tilley, Miles Kruppa, reporting for The Wall Street Journal Sunday morning (News+):

In its hustle to catch up on AI, Apple has been talking with a longtime rival: Meta. Facebook’s parent has held discussions with Apple about integrating Meta Platforms’ generative AI model into Apple Intelligence, the recently announced AI system for iPhones and other devices, according to people familiar with the matter.

This didn’t make much sense, given Tim Cook’s strident condemnation of Meta and Mark Zuckerberg. E.g. this interview with Kara Swisher, which, though it was six years ago, doesn’t leave much room for a strange bedfellows partnership today: “Asked by Swisher what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg’s position, Cook said pointedly: ‘I wouldn’t be in this situation.’” Cook and Apple’s entire problem with Meta is their approach to privacy and monetizing through targeted advertising based on user profiles. Apple is trying to convince customers that Apple’s approach to AI is completely private and trustworthy; a partnership with Meta would run counter to that. And, quite frankly, Meta’s AI technology is not enviable.

Now here’s Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg yesterday evening (News+):

Apple Inc. rejected overtures by Meta Platforms Inc. to integrate the social networking company’s AI chatbot into the iPhone months ago, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The two companies aren’t in discussions about using Meta’s Llama chatbot in an AI partnership and only held brief talks in March, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. The dialogue about a partnership didn’t reach any formal stage, and Apple has no active plans to integrate Llama. [...]

Apple decided not to move forward with formal Meta discussions in part because it doesn’t see that company’s privacy practices as stringent enough, according to the people. Apple has spent years criticizing Meta’s technology, and integrating Llama into the iPhone would have been a stark about-face.

Spokespeople for Apple and Meta declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the two companies were in talks about an AI partnership.

Delicious, right down to the fact that Bloomberg’s link on “reported on Sunday” points not to the Journal but to Bloomberg’s own regurgitation of the WSJ’s report.

Tuesday, 25 June 2024