Apple partners with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT to its devices

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Good morning. In today’s newsletter we’re covering:

  • Macron’s election gamble hits markets

  • Israel’s war cabinet loses a ‘moderating influence’

  • A judge’s warning on Hong Kong

But we start with Apple, which said it has partnered with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT to its devices.

Chief executive Tim Cook outlined the iPhone maker’s “next big step” at Apple’s annual developer conference yesterday, aiming to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to provide a smarter Siri voice assistant and more personalised features on its devices.

The event has been watched closely as investors waited to see how Cook would position the company to take advantage of generative AI, amid concerns it is falling behind its Big Tech competitors.

The OpenAI partnership will feed into Apple’s own proprietary generative AI features, which it has dubbed “Apple Intelligence”. Apple’s Siri voice assistant will also get a makeover, with the company promising a more natural interactive experience with richer language comprehension. Here’s how ChatGPT will be used — plus what Apple said about AI and user privacy.

And don’t miss today’s Big Read on Apple’s race to catch up with its rivals on generative AI.

Here’s what I’m keeping tabs on today:

  • Economic data: The UK publishes monthly unemployment figures, while the Philippines reports external trade performance for April.

  • Reports: Opec publishes its June oil market report.

  • US-Middle East diplomacy: US secretary of state Antony Blinken continues his visit to Israel where he is expected to meet Benny Gantz, the centrist politician who recently resigned from Israel’s war government, on Tuesday.

Five more top stories

1. French markets fell yesterday after President Emmanuel Macron called snap parliamentary elections in a high-stakes gamble to foil advances by the far right in his country. France’s Cac 40 stock index slid 1.4 per cent and bonds were hit as investors reacted to the prospect of a government led by Marine Le Pen’s far-right movement.

  • Podcast: Listen to Untold: Power for Sale, a new podcast from the FT investigating the fine line between influence and corruption in the European parliament.

2. Eli Lilly’s Alzheimer’s drug donanemab edged closer to US regulatory approval yesterday, after a panel of independent scientific experts concluded the benefits of the experimental treatment outweighed the risks. But they cautioned more data was needed to understand its effects in patients with low or no levels of tau, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s, because Eli Lilly excluded them from the clinical trial.

3. The top Ukrainian official overseeing wartime reconstruction and defence fortifications has resigned, claiming his agency was being systematically undermined by the government. Mustafa Nayyem’s departure is the latest in a series of personnel changes in Kyiv that have shaken the confidence of western partners in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government and irked some of Ukraine’s own officials.

4. Edgar Bronfman Jr has become the latest billionaire to join the pursuit of Paramount, signalling his interest in a possible $2bn-plus bid for its holding company National Amusements. The latest twist in a chaotic saga over Paramount’s future was confirmed by two people familiar with Bronfman’s interest, who said he had backing from private equity group Bain.

5. BP senior executives must disclose any intimate relationships with colleagues during the past three years or face possible disciplinary action, the company said. The oil major announced the tightening of its workplace rules following the sacking of chief executive Bernard Looney in December over his failure to disclose past relationships to the board.

News in-depth

Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu
Benny Gantz, right, has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, of mishandling Israel’s war in Gaza © FT montage; AFP/Getty Images

Benny Gantz’s long-expected resignation from Israel’s emergency government on Sunday washed away the last traces of unity that descended on Israeli politics in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 attack. The departure of the centrist former general — a “moderating influence”, according to one diplomat — also leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even more beholden to the far-right politicians who dominate his coalition.

We’re also reading . . . 

  • Hong Kong: Jonathan Sumption, a British judge who resigned from Hong Kong’s top court last week, warns that the rule of law in the Chinese territory is in grave danger.

  • Opinion: The outcome of Emmanuel Macron’s snap poll might matter more for the future direction of the EU than the results of the European parliament election, writes Ben Hall.

  • Musk vs Delaware: Tesla shareholders vote this week on whether to restore a $56bn pay package for its chief executive that was struck down by the state’s court. But that won’t close the book on the legal saga.

Chart of the day

Mounting political heat is complicating interest rate decisions in the US and the UK. The Bank of England and Federal Reserve want to avoid any perception that they were cutting borrowing costs to help incumbent governments, former officials and economists said, making it more likely they will swerve moves that are too close to polling day.

Take a break from the news

In the latest edition of At Home with the FT, the US ambassador to the UK speaks to Gillian Tett from Winfield House, an imposing neo-Georgian building and the envoy’s official residence in London. Jane Hartley discusses her life in a fishbowl, Netflix’s The Diplomat, and the “essential” relationship between both countries.

US Ambassador Jane Hartley seated on a sofa in an airy room with wood floors
US Ambassador Jane Hartley at Winfield House, London © The Willem de Kooning Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2024

Additional contributions from Tee Zhuo and Gordon Smith

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