Snapchat’s My AI Is Just a Bit, Well, Creepy

Last week social media platform Snapchat rolled out its new My AI feature, an AI-powered bot users can chat with, ask questions, and, in some cases, seek advice from. To older readers, it’s a much more sophisticated version of MSN’s SmarterChild.

Following an initial subscriber-only soft-launch at the beginning of March, the now app-wide feature can be found pinned to the chat tab of all Snapchat users. The only way for it to be removed from said feed is by subscribing to Snapchat+ for $3.99 per month, which hasn’t gone down well.

However, it seems the bot — which Snapchat describes as “an experimental, friendly, chatbot” — hasn’t made the best first impressions with Snapchatters across the globe on a more granular level, with a reported influx of 1-star reviews since its introduction.

According to Apptopia, the day after My AI launched, Snapchat received almost 75% more one-star reviews than usual.

While My AI’s placement might have some users unhappy, it’s the bot’s seemingly invasive nature that’s coming across, well, a little bit creepy.

More worryingly, it’s knowledge of your location at all times. For example, whenever your app is being used (or even open in the background) My AI is privy to your whereabouts on Snap Map whether your location is being shared or not.

What’s more, Snapchat is also said to be using the data it collects from other conversations to make chats with My AI feel more personable and relatable, with some users even feeling gaslit by the bot.

To some extent, My AI is simply highlighting the level of information Snapchat (and other social media companies for that) are collating about its users, but in this case they’re sharing it.

This isn’t the first time My AI has been called out. According to reports, last month during its subscriber-only soft-launch the bot was accused of giving out inappropriate and dangerous responses to its younger users, when being asked questions, with one report revealing they chatted about “booze and sex”.

Recently, AI has had its more light-hearted uses including a new Drake album and even repurposing the Pope, yet when just a tiny portion of the data social media platforms own and how it can use it, the real extent of what’s possible is shown.

Sure, not all the reviews have been bad — with many reporting meaningful conversations with their AI-powered buddy — yet the conclusion we can all agree on during these early stages is this: it’s a little bit creepy, isn’t it?

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