In spite of advances in artificial intelligence (AI) it will still take many decades to achieve Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which means creating machines capable of performing any task a human can do and possessing consciousness.
However, we already have ‘good-enough’ AI technology that can interact with humans, recognize movements, and make decisions. One example of this is OpenAI’s GPT-3 and ChatGPT models, which can write original prose and engage in conversations with humans with a high degree of fluency. Several companies are adopting OpenAI’s ChatGPT model, including Microsoft, Duolingo, Stripe—and now, Snap.
The promise of My AI Chatbot
On April 19, 2023, social media giant Snap announced the launch of a new feature called My AI Chatbot, which allows Snapchat users to chat with an AI-powered virtual assistant that can perform a variety of tasks and answer questions.
The My AI Chatbot is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 language model, which is designed to understand and respond to natural language input from users. The chatbot will be available to all users, although it had previously been launched in February 2023 as part of a paid subscription service called Snapchat Plus.
The My AI Chatbot can perform a range of tasks, such as setting reminders, making restaurant reservations, and answering questions on a wide range of topics. As generative AI relies heavily on its input to produce output, the chatbot will also be able to learn from its interactions with users over time, improving its ability to understand and respond to natural language input.
Snapchat’s My AI Chatbot is not living up to its anticipated hype
However, this new feature has not been well received. Data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower highlights that, in the past week, Snapchat received an average US App Store review of 1.67, with 75% of the reviews being one-star. This contrasts with Q1 2023 when Snapchat’s average US App Store review score was 3.05, and only 35% of the reviews were one-star.
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Users are calling for Snapchat to remove its ‘My AI’ feature—primarily, users are reporting complaints about the placement of the chatbot within the app, as it is pinned at the top of users’ chat feed where it cannot be moved or deleted as with regular chats.
Snapchat’s Twitter page is currently filled with hundreds of complaints about the chatbot feature and demanding that it should be something users can manually opt-in to have, rather than being forced to use it. Currently, removing the My AI chatbot requires a subscription to Snapchat Plus.
At the time when the AI bot was only available to Snapchat Plus members, there were reports of the bot breaching safety. The My AI chatbot initially received scrutiny over providing underage children who disclosed their age, with information on how to cover the smell of drugs and alcohol.
Snapchat responded to the claims by blaming users for ‘tricking’ its chatbot. The social media giant promised to roll out parental controls and age filters, which to date, still have not been implemented universally.
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