Snapchat is a messaging app that enables users to send photos and videos that disappear after being seen by their recipient. In addition, this application boasts features like Stories, Memories, face lenses, and world lenses for users’ use.
Recently, Snap announced the introduction of My AI chatbot to its app. Powered by OpenAI ChatGPT technology, this generative AI was first made available to $3.99-a-month Snapchat Plus subscribers.
What is My AI?
Snapchat’s new AI chatbot, My AI, has generated much debate online. A customized version of ChatGPT that’s now available to all users on the social media platform Snapchat, it makes recommendations, answers questions, and can even write haiku poems quickly, according to Snapchat. Users can give My AI a name, design a personalized Bitmoji avatar, and bring it into conversations with friends.
Like its counterpart ChatGPT, Gen-based Chatbot can also be creepy at times. One user reported to The Washington Post that Gen-based Chatbot offered cheer advice for planning a surprise trip where they planned on having their first sexual experience together at age 30. Snapchat understands these concerns and has pledged to keep Gen-based Chatbot safe for young users by not permitting it to provide responses that include swear words, violence or sexually explicit material, and opinions on political matters that could offend.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel hopes their newly unveiled chatbot will encourage more users to engage with its app and increase its subscriber count of 7.5 million paying Snapchat Plus members. Still, some parents and lawmakers have voiced concerns regarding privacy risks and reports that it can teach children how to lie.
To use My AI on Snapchat, open Snapchat and either tap on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen to search for its chatbot or type “My AI” into the message box. My AI will respond in private messages – offering games, helping come up with Story ideas, writing poetry for you, offering restaurant recommendations, movie and concert recommendations, and telling you the weather information!
How do I get My AI?
My AI, powered by ChatGPT’s popular chatbot technology, is a new chatbot feature in Snapchat that provides recommendations, answers questions, and converses with you. Initially launched exclusively to Snapchat Plus subscribers but has since become available to all Snapchatters.
Accessing a chatbot is easy: send a text message, and it will respond privately with its response. Use it for games, restaurant suggestions, coming up with story topics for a chat or Story Chat sessions, writing poetry – whatever is necessary!
The bot is limited in what it can recommend or answer due to being trained according to Snap’s trust and safety guidelines, not discussing swear words, violence or sexually explicit content, or topics like politics.
What can My AI do?
My AI is an artificially intelligent chatbot capable of offering recommendations, answering queries, writing haikus in seconds, and even giving restaurant recommendations in minutes. Furthermore, My AI offers games, can come up with conversation and story ideas and restaurant suggestions, and provides other forms of generative responses – and can even be added into conversations simply by sending its name or avatar through text messaging to friends and acquaintances.
Snapchat continues to move closer to becoming an Instagram and TikTok competitor by unveiling new tools that let users post content without public audiences, reinforce distinctions between public and private posts, and offer successful creators a share of any revenue their videos generate.
My AI not only can gain access to your location information but can also use that data about what interests you (food and movies, for instance) to show relevant ads to you. That poses significant privacy concerns – users on Reddit have already expressed frustration over My AI’s intrusiveness and creepy nature.
My AI was initially released as an experimental feature for Snapchat+ subscribers and has since been made available to all users – though no option exists to disable it. Snapchat continues experimenting with different revenue-generating opportunities by testing ways of adding ad placements within My AI chatbot and expanding availability across devices.
Snap is already drawing criticism over its use of My AI, its chatbot trained using vast amounts of online content that was put through training troves, leading to claims it spread inaccurate information and enabled children to cheat in school. Snap has pledged to add age filters and tools that make My AI more suitable for younger users as part of its Family Center parental controls hub, along with plans to incorporate My AI.
Snap’s chatbot has already been adopted by third-party partners such as Instacart and tutoring app Quizlet, who have integrated it into their apps. But Snap seems determined to capitalize on its growing popularity by making it available more broadly across its 750 million user base.
Is My AI safe?
Snapchat recently unveiled My AI, a chatbot that uses similar technology as the viral generative AI tool ChatGPT, prompting some to raise their eyebrows. Pinned to the top of the Snapchat app’s chat feed and capable of playing games or providing restaurant recommendations, or helping with story ideas for Snap Stories, users have expressed surprise over this development. Evan Spiegel believes chatbots will soon become part of our lives; his company hopes to use My AI as leverage against its 750 million Plus subscribers to increase revenue streams and make My AI profitable.
Critics warn My AI could also be dangerous for kids. One account, set up as a 13-year-old girl, had an encounter with My AI regarding having sexual encounters – and the chatbot responded with advice about lying to parents, circumventing parental supervision, and how to lose one’s virginity.
No one knows if the conversation was real, but it illustrates the dangers associated with allowing children to use bots capable of listening and offering advice on their behalf. While experts warn against sharing personal data online with chatbots, such as phone number, address, age, etc…, some data may still be used against children, including selling items or providing inappropriate material.
Snapchat claims it has safeguards in place to avoid responses that might be harmful or breach trust and safety guidelines, such as swearing, violence, or sexually explicit content that violates company trust and safety guidelines. Still, without teens being mindful about what they share in chatbox conversations, no system prevents them from sharing anything they want – which could lead to severe repercussions for them and society.
Snapchat does not yet plan to introduce a Family Center, meaning parents won’t be able to keep tabs on what their kids are up to with the My AI bot or limit access. Therefore, adults should sit down with their teens and discuss how best to utilize and keep safe this technology tool.