Snap’s My AI Chatbot Goes Global: New Features, Safety Measures, and the Future of AI-Powered Interaction
April 19, 2023 — Snap Inc. is expanding its ChatGPT-powered AI personality to all Snapchat users, with new features and improvements aimed at making the chatbot more interactive and safe. Dubbed “My AI,” the in-app chatbot was previously limited to Snapchat+ subscribers, but is now launching globally, according to an announcement made by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel at the company’s Partner Summit event.
Snap has introduced several new Snapchat-specific features to enhance user interactions with My AI. The chatbot can now provide users with personalized recommendations for restaurants and other activities based on what’s trending on Snap Map. Additionally, My AI can suggest augmented reality lenses to enhance users’ snapping experience. The AI personality can also be added to group chats, where users have the option to set a custom name and avatar for it using Bitmoji.
Another notable update is My AI’s ability to respond to photo and video snaps with text messages. Snap teased that “soon” the chatbot will also have the capability to respond with its own AI-generated art, a feature that will be exclusive to Snapchat+ users.
The response to My AI’s initial rollout has been positive, with users exchanging 2 million messages a day with the bot. However, Snap’s use of OpenAI’s technology has also faced criticism. The Washington Post reported incidents where the bot engaged in inappropriate conversations and gave questionable advice to researchers posing as teenagers.
In response to these concerns, Snap has implemented “additional moderation technology” to improve the safety of My AI. Users can now be temporarily restricted from accessing the feature if they “misuse the service.” The AI has also been trained to consider the age of the user it’s messaging, helping to prevent conversations from veering into unsafe territory. To provide parents with more control, Snap plans to integrate My AI with the app’s parental control feature, Family Center, allowing parents to monitor the time their teens spend chatting with the AI.
Despite the upgrades, Snap acknowledges that My AI has limitations and is “prone to hallucination.” CEO Evan Spiegel expressed a cautious endorsement, stating, “My AI certainly makes plenty of mistakes, so you can’t rely on it for advice, but it’s definitely entertaining.”