Apple announced its partnership with OpenAI at its WWDC 2024 event earlier this year. It was later revealed that the new partnership would potentially give millions of iPhone users access to OpenAI, but that Apple would not be paying the company to use its technology in iOS 18. However, a new report by Bloomberg’s Mark Grinman reveals that Apple will also acquire an observer role in OpenAI as part of the deal with the Sam Altman-led company.

Phil Schiller, head of Apple’s App Store and former marketing chief, has been tapped to take on the role of board observer, the report said. An observer role will mean that Schiller can attend OpenAI board meetings, but will not be able to vote on board decisions.

Schiller stepped down as Apple’s marketing chief in 2020 and is currently employed as an “Apple Fellow”. In addition to overseeing the App Store, the veteran also oversees Apple’s product launch events. In addition to his work at Apple, Schiller is also a director of medical technology company Illumina Inc.

A board observer role would put Apple in a similar position to Microsoft, a company with which it has a mixed history. While Microsoft and Apple are fierce rivals in the PC race, the Satya Nadella-led company has offered lucrative deals in the past. Google As the default search engine on iPhones.

Apple’s addition to the OpenAI board could be a problem if AI initiatives are discussed between Microsoft and OpenAI at these board meetings, Grinman says. However, he notes that board members are generally willing to recuse themselves and leave meetings when sensitive conversations occur.

Notably, Microsoft has invested about $13 billion in OpenAI and gives the AI ​​startup access to many of its cloud and computing resources needed to run ChatGPT and other AI technologies.

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