Snapchat AI marks yet another artificial intelligence that raises concerns


Jack Schroeder, Staff Reporter

In February of 2023, Snapchat, a popular social media platform, released a new feature called “Snapchat AI.” Initially, this artificial intelligence was only available to Snapchat Plus subscribers, but it has now been made available to every user on the platform. Snapchat AI takes the form of a virtual chatbot that users can interact with as if it were an actual person. Users can ask it questions, ask it for advice, or simply have a conversation with it. Once it is opened for the first time, the bot will display a message that says “Hi (user’s name)! I’m your new AI chatbot. You can ask me just about anything and I’ll do my best to help. I’m always here for a laugh, and you can give me a name if you’d like. Is there anything I can do for you today?”

The chatbot, according to Distractify, is powered by the recently popular AI, ChatGPT. Just as ChatGPT received backlash and criticism from the public shortly after its launch, Snapchat AI is receiving it as well. A lot of users have found it to be creepy, citing instances like the bot saying it did not know the user’s location and then disclosing it to the user shortly after, and after receiving a picture of a group of people, the bot complimented one of the people’s shoes and then asked who everyone was in the photo. After a man signed in to the app as a 13 year old girl, curious as to how the AI would respond to certain inquisitions under the impression that it was talking to a young minor, the chatbot was documented giving the hypothetical teen advice on how to lie to her parents about going on a trip with a 31 year old man that she had just met.

Creepy exchanges are not the only worry regarding this AI. ChatGPT, being Snapchat AI’s source code, has been known to give false information despite delivering it in a way that makes the said information seem very credible. According to The Social Shepherd, the vast majority of Snapchat users are between the ages of 15-25, which makes up 48% of the app’s users. Because of this statistic and the fact that the AI does not give out factual information a lot of the time, people are left wondering what sort of impact this may have on the young impressionable minds of Snapchat’s number one demographic.