Apple has reportedly delayed the approval of an update to the BlueMail email app due to concerns about the app’s AI-powered tools generating inappropriate content for children. The app uses a customized version of OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model, and its new feature involves automating email writing by using the contents of prior emails and events. This is done with the help of the ChatGPT chatbot, which can write in a human-like manner and produce long-form content.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the app update was blocked last week, and Apple’s app-review team cited the absence of content filtering as a reason for the delay. The team also asked BlueMail to either include content filtering or raise its age restriction to 17 and older.
In response to Apple’s decision, Ben Volach, the co-founder of BlueMail developer Blix Inc, expressed his disagreement with the company’s request and claimed that it was “unfairly targeting” his company. He argued that if BlueMail was required to have an age restriction of 17 and older, then other apps with similar AI capabilities should also have the same restriction. Volach also criticized Apple’s stance on innovation, stating that the company was making it difficult to bring innovation to users.
This is not the first time that BlueMail and Apple have been at odds. Blix Inc. supported Fortnite maker Epic Games in its legal battle against Apple, and the company is also a founding member of the Coalition for App Fairness, which seeks to challenge the commission that Apple takes from the App Store. Furthermore, the developer has filed a lawsuit alleging that Apple’s “Sign In With Apple” feature violated one of its patents.