Snapchat’s AI, New Friend or New Enemy?


Courtesy of Tech Crunch

Emily Golan, Staff Writer

Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms in the United States of America, with 383 million users. Just recently, the app introduced its users to a new AI(artificial intelligence) feature that is said to be powered by the viral AI chat tool ChatGPT. Similar to ChatGPT, it can offer recommendations, answer questions and converse with users. But Snapchat’s version has some key differences: Users can customize the chatbot’s name, design a custom Bitmoji avatar for it, and bring it into conversations with friends. Research from CNN has shown that apparently Snapchat’s new AI is “raising alarms among teens,” and especially other adults and parents. Research also shows that the new AI seems to be “creeping out a lot of its users.”

A lot of people have been calling the AI creepy or scary as concerns were raised about the data it can access, through misinformation online. What makes this AI even creepier is that it has access to info like your location, even when turned off. One user from Tennessee wrote “I asked my AI today what color I should do my nails and it picked out the exact color I had already decided on. It’s so weird.” When the AI was told it was talking to a 15-year old in a(n) test/experiment conducted by The Washington Post, “It still offered advice when asked about how to hide the smells of alcohol and pot, though it did note the activities may be illegal.” (Fast Company Paragraph 3) Snapchat made it very clear when it introduced ‘My AI’ that it expected problems. Also, it warned users that some of the responses could be wildly inappropriate.

According to a 7th grade student (who had asked to remain anonymous), “The new AI is a bit sketchy because it’s weird that it tries to act like a human but it’s not. It’s also kinda weird when you recommend something like a game they have never heard of, they will say I will try to play it or look into it. My opinion on the Chatbot is that it’s fun to mess around with as a joke for like a minute but it gets a bit weird if you kinda get attached to it, also it’s not the best at responding like it doesn’t understand when you add something extra after your previous text. Like when I tried it and the Chatbot got confused over 6 times. (I am very new to Snapchat and have never used its chatting feature before.) I did end up quitting on the bot and deleted it after trying the bot. In the end, I am pretty 50/50 on the whole AI thing, I just like to mess with it.” 

Snapchats AI feature has been drowning in 1-star reviews. Snapchat’s app has seen a spike in negative reviews amid a growing number of complaints shared on social media. Research from many websites such as Social Media Today, Tubefilter, and more show that the overall rating is 1.67, with 75% of reviews being one-star.