Snapchat’s new AI chatbot, My AI, is ready to message with a profile and customizability.
BY NOAH PARKER
AI has blown up in popularity over the past year thanks to the likes of Stable Diffusion, MidJourney, and ChatGPT. However, new to the block is Snapchat’s AI chatbot, My AI.
Using a specialized version of Open AI’s GPT (A.K.A. ChatGPT) technology, the marketed goal of the AI is to serve as a sort of assistant to the user. By asking it questions, such as where a nearby restaurant is or telling you a joke, the AI will respond accordingly.
However, despite the current buzz around AI, and the possible uses for this assistant on Snapchat, many users have given a negative review on the feature or just haven’t used it at all. The question is: why the poor feedback?
For starters, some users don’t want to use it in the first place, but even if they ignore it, Snapchat has force-pinned it to the top of everyone’s feed, so it will always be there taking up space. These users wish it were an opt-in feature only.
Other users also find it weird and creepy since the AI knows your location, even when you’re not sharing it on the Snap Map and is supposedly gathering all the data and information being sent to it.
Many users also ask, quite simply, why the feature exists in the first place, and why more companies seem to be adding such features as time passes.
“It’s a fad, it’s a novelty, it’s the cool thing right now so a lot of tech companies think ‘well, the other tech companies have AI, so we’re supposed to have AI, so let’s go do it,’” said Gordon Carlson, associate professor of Informatics and founder of the Institute for New Media Studies.
“The other thing is… a huge motivator for them is telemetry,” he continued. “So being able to get data and information about users… this is absolutely in their [interest] for doing that.”
He went on to discuss how more user engagement time, combined with users freely giving information about themselves to this AI, is a potential money maker, as well as how there are many more useful uses for AI than chatbots, such as “image generation… tools in medicine, tools that are helping companies do logistics and travel… some tools in education that are getting better…”
Ultimately, the feature has not gotten the reception that Snapchat probably hoped.
However, despite the influx of negative reviews, there are still some users that seem to have embraced the new feature in some way, using it for tasks such as a workout assistant, meal prep, or study help.
Perhaps the feature can still see some positivity in the future from those who want to use it, instead of negativity from those who don’t due to it being forced on every user.