At a time when artificial intelligence (AI) has become the major talk of the tech town, big industry players such as Snap Inc. are also making their moves lest they find themselves lagging behind.
Snap last month rolled out My AI chatbot to all Snapchat users across the globe. This marked the end to a limited access program that had started back in February for Snapchat+ subscribers.
With only 3M subscribers, My AI was available to a very small set of Snapchat users. In contrast, the app, as of this writing, commands an active user base of over 200M per month. This is just India alone, not the entire globe.
This goes to show just how much of a small sample the company uses to test its new and upcoming features. And the backlash against My AI pretty much says it all — that decisions made are not based on the desires of the majority.
Of course, this isn’t true for every new and upcoming feature. But some of the feedback that the bot has picked up over the past few weeks is perhaps testament to what is possibly a botched rollout.
While chatbots do a great job blurring the line between humans and AI, some Snapchat users feel that My AI is a little too creepy due to its real or human-like responses or interactions.
To others, this trait makes the chatbot even more interesting to interact with. But what’s even scarier is its ability to detect and interpret things in an image.
Why is My AI on Snapchat lying about not seeing the pictures? I had to try it out for my self, and it’s just creepy and weird… I sent it 3 random photos and it could clearly see what was in them.
nah this snapchat ai thing is creepy 💀 not the gaslighting
Give it any random image and it will respond with a description of the image’s contents, implying that it can actually “see” images. But this creepiness doesn’t end here.
When asked to suggest the nearest restaurants, for instance, Snapchat’s My AI suddenly turns into prime Google Maps with details of where you can check out near you.
This clearly means the AI chatbot has location access, something that is obviously freaking some people out due to privacy concerns. Snapchat has also come under scrutiny from parents over its interactions with younger users.
Sure, Snap may be positioning My AI a friend with whom you can exchange messages about things like movie recommendations and more, but the mixed reactions hint at some of the many concerns Snapchat needs to address.
While some may find value in My AI, not everyone’s a fan. This explains the continued calls for Snap to allow all Snapchat users to unpin or remove My AI from atop their chat tab.
As things stand, you must be a Snapchat+ subscriber in order to unpin or remove My AI from your chat feed. Even if Snapchat wanted to add more people to its subscription plan, this isn’t the best way to do it.
Snap may be looking to go hard in this age of AI. Or maybe it’s just because My AI relies on human interactions to get better, so having it pinned at the top of chat feeds could convince some people to interact with it regularly.
After all, most people use the app for free, so this is perhaps the only way of giving back to Snapchat by helping train My AI bot through sustained human interactions.
But limiting the ability to unpin or remove My AI from chat feed to Snapchat+ is a little extra. However, since the feature is still new, I hope Snap will eventually make this setting available to everyone in future.
Do let us know your thoughts in the comments and poll below.
PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.