For the Cool Kids on the Block: Snapchat Releases My AI, an In-App Chatbot
Generative AI
November 13, 2023
3 min read

When Snapchat released the dog filter in 2015, it quickly became a staple of social media culture. The filter, officially called the 'Dog Lens,' was one of the app's first augmented reality filters. Its adorable floppy ears and cute snout quickly became a beloved feature among young people. The filter's popularity led to the creation of many other animal-themed filters paving the way for Snapchat's continued innovation in augmented reality.

Before that, Snapchat released the disappearing messages feature in 2011. It was one of the app's earliest and most popular features, allowing users to send photos and videos that would disappear after being viewed. The feature, which has become a staple of Snapchat's brand, was designed to promote more authentic and spontaneous communication among friends, as users didn't have to worry about their messages being saved or shared without their consent.

Now, in Feb 2023, Snapchat has officially announced the launch of My AI, a new chatbot running the latest version of OpenAI's GPT technology that's been customized for Snapchat.

What Can You Do with My AI?

The announcement for My AI comes swiftly on the heels of the release of OpenAI's machine learning models in a dedicated capacity to create customized versions. My AI is one of the first products of this enterprise tier called Foundry.

While My AI is for all Snapchat Plus subscribers, the chatbot is geared mainly towards the younger crowd. It's essentially a virtual assistant that lives inside of Snapchat – users can initiate a chat with it like they do with any other of their contacts. My AI is designed to help users with a variety of tasks, from setting reminders to playing games; it can also "recommend birthday gift ideas for your BFF, plan a hiking trip for a long weekend, suggest a recipe for dinner, or even write a haiku about cheese for your cheddar-obsessed pal," said Snapchat's official announcement.

One of the most interesting things about My AI is that it's designed to be a conversation partner. Unlike other chatbots that simply respond to your commands, My AI is designed to engage in natural, back-and-forth conversations. This means that you can talk to the chatbot as if you were talking to a real person, and it will respond in a way that feels more like a friend than a machine.

So, Why did Snapchat Decide to Release My AI?

According to the company, the chatbot is designed to make conversations on the app more fun and engaging. By adding an AI-powered virtual assistant to the mix, Snapchat hopes to keep users engaged and entertained for extended periods.

Of course, there are some potential downsides to using a chatbot like My AI. For one thing, it's still a machine, which means it may not always be able to understand complex requests or nuances in your conversations. Additionally, some people may feel uncomfortable talking to a machine instead of a real person.

Snapchat is Off To the Right Start With How They are Positioning My AI

Given the younger user base of this app, Snapchat has made a promising start with the regulations they've implemented in My AI. Even though it's run on ChatGPT – which can practically crawl through any information on the Internet – the chatbot has powerful constraints. First, it gives absolutely no responses that include swearing, sexually explicit content, violence, racially hateful speech, and controversial political topics.

It also declines to write any academic essays, attempt school tests, or carry out any job that has recently gotten ChatGPT a lot of slack from academic institutions. Plus, all conversations with My AI will also be stored and assessed. If the chatbot gives unacceptable responses, users can press and hold the message and share feedback with Snapchat.

Interestingly, they are also ensuring that My AI isn't just another search engine chatbot. Instead of a problem-solver personality, My AI has been positioned as a friend, a buddy, or even your dear diary. This sets it far apart from the showdown between tech giants – Google, Microsoft, and Meta. And while My AI seems like a friendly neighborhood chatbot for now, it could potentially be a significant moneymaker for Snapchat in the near future, creating a niche necessity for itself in the generative AI market.

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