Snapchat recently released a pretty groundbreaking feature.
My AI is a new generative AI feature that allows Snapchat+ subscribers to send ‘snaps’ of what they’re up to to an in-app chatbot that generates a ‘snap’ back to the user.
“Snapping is the way our community stays in touch with their friends and family, creating over 55,000 Snaps every second on average,” a press release published by Snapchat explained.
“Now, when Snapchat+ subscribers are chatting with My AI, they can send it Snaps of what they’re up to and receive a unique generative Snap back that keeps the conversation going!”
Since the AI chatbot’s launch, Snapchatters have been using the generative AI feature as “a tool for creativity to learn more about the world, and ask about movies, sports, video games, or even what to wear to prom”.
“Snap My AI a picture of your pizza, OOTD (outfit of the day), or even your furry best friend, and My AI may respond with a Snap back in reaction to what you’re doing.
“So, if you Snap My AI your latest grocery haul, it might recommend a recipe!”
Now, this does sound kinda cool.
But Sarah Perez in an article for Tech Crunch said the “feature doesn’t seem to have much value beyond entertainment purposes”.
However, research of ours has found 1 in 5 young people say they use the Snapchat My AI chatbot for work and study purposes.
Understandably however irrespective of whether its used for entertainment or work and study purposes, novelty is mingled with concerns especially when it comes to privacy and safety.
“It’s… unclear to what extent Snap has implemented strong guardrails around the My AI generative photo feature. This could be a concern for parents of teens, as other generative AI apps, like Lensa AI, have been easily tricked into making NSFW images,” Perez said.
“Following reports that My AI had been responding in an unsafe manner, Snap promised to introduce insights into its Family Center parental controls hub to help parents and guardians stay informed about their kids’ interactions with the My AI chatbot.”
So as a parent how worried should you really be about your child using Snapchat’s My AI chatbot?
Gen Zs roast new Snapchat generative AI feature
Well, perhaps reports of Gen Zs making light of the generative AI feature might dispel some of these concerns.
“Snapchat users have been gaslighting, degrading and emotionally tormenting the app’s new AI companion,” Tech Crunch’s Morgan Sung explained.
“I am at your service, senpai,” the chatbot told one TikTok user after being trained to whimper on command. “Please have mercy, alpha.”
Sung also found another user roasting the chatbot in the Gen Z version of ‘yo mamma’.
“Another user asked the chatbot to talk about its mother, and when it said it ‘wasn’t comfortable’ doing so, the user twisted the knife by asking if the chatbot didn’t want to talk about its mother because it doesn’t have one,” Sung explained.
“I’m sorry, but that’s not a very nice thing to say,” the chatbot responded. “Please be respectful.”
So is Snapchat’s My AI Chatbot the one we should actually be worried for?
As with any new technology their children are using, parents should simply ask how their child is using it and make their own judgement.
If they’re using it for work and study purposes, which 20% of young Australians claim they do, see how they utilise it. You could learn a thing or two.
And if they’re not yet using it in that way, it might be something to discuss with them and to have some fun doing together.