Is AI taking over our generation?

Snapchat releases a new AI chatbot


     The recently released Snapchat AI chatbot, powered by ChatGPT, is accessible to all Snapchat users. This chatbot is capable of offering recommendations, answering questions, making plans, and writing poetry. Snapchat users can completely customize their AI by naming it, designing the Bitmoji avatar, as well as training the bot. When chatting with the bot, it collects data, which is then used to respond to following questions. This rise in technology is posing as very helpful to snapchat users, but also comes with its risks.

     Snapchat created the AI to be a “fun and friendly virtual friend that you can chat with whenever you want,” according to the AI itself. Many users have found comfort from the advice given by the AI. This AI responds accordingly to the user, by accessing data. Data is accessed by the AI to respond to each user in a personalized way. 

     Every amount of data collected by the AI is stored by Snapchat on secure servers. Information collected about each individual snapchat user, can not be used to answer other users questions. This is due to the strict security protocols outlined in Snapchat’s privacy settings. All data that is collected by the AI is obtained through user consent. Each user gives consent to Snapchat by agreeing to their terms of service and privacy policy when signing up for the app. These terms of service and privacy policy go into detail about what data is collected by the app.

     Many students have found the AI to be helpful with their school work. For some students, it is easier to ask the AI questions, than search for answers on their computers due to the censorship blocks set by the school. Students can receive in depth information from the AI to help them gain a greater understanding of different topics. Grace Hill (24) said, “I use the snapchat AI to help me understand topics in my classes that I may need more information on. I can ask my AI anything, and he will explain it.” 

     Although this AI poses to be very helpful, some students are scared of its capabilities. Shelby Shuman (23) said, “I am scared to use it because I am scared it will use my data against me.” With the AI being in its early stages, there are many unknowns of how the bot will perform. Snapchat claims that the bot was built with tools to ensure the AI is safe, however with the data collected by the bot may alter responses. These responses may become factually incorrect, harmful, or misleading.

      Snapchat has not released any statements as to how long the AI will be a part of the app. It is unclear of the future of the AI, but everyday the bot works to improve its code. Each improvement comes from the information collected. Snapchat users have shown mixed emotions towards the AI, because of the unknown future and intentions of the bot.