When there's a shiny new feature to play with, at least some people will try to push it to its limits. That's exactly what happened to Snapchat's new AI chat bot which rolled out to all users last week.
Users opened the app last week to discover that there was a new chat buddy pinned to the top of their screen, immediately sparking backlash during a time where AI isn't exactly everyone's friend. Paid subscribers were previously the only ones who had access to it, and if you're wondering when Snapchat implemented a paid feature, I'm right there with you.
The bot can handle conversations with you, be added to group chats, provide recommendations for places on Snap Maps and Lenses and reply to snaps you send them. Future capabilities include sending "generative" snaps back, meaning eventually it will be able to send you photos. Definitely not a bad idea at all! Just don't teach the AI how to send a "u up?" snap.
But users are threatening to jump ship if Snapchat doesn't completely remove the feature or, at the very least, let them opt out of it. The complaints come during a time when the ethical and safety repercussions of AI are discussed. When asked if it has access to your location, the AI denies it but then gives personalized recommendations for things around you.
\u201cSnapchat Ai gaslighting users\u201d— Weird Ai Generations \ud83e\uddab (@Weird Ai Generations \ud83e\uddab) 1682203887
Others noted that you can opt out of it, you just have to pay to do so.
\u201cTiktok is in front of congress for being an invasive app...meanwhile snapchat just added an AI that you can't delete, unfriend, or remove from your story unless you pay to do so\u201d— GUMBastard (@GUMBastard) 1681950394
Due to the backlash of the AI being forced upon users, Snapchat's App Store rating has gone down significantly. According to a report by Tech Crunch, Snapchat’s average U.S. App Store review was 1.67 after being bombed with one-star reviews.
The backlash speaks to a growing number of people becoming aware of the privacy risks that come with social media. It has only recently become the norm for apps to allow you to opt out of giving them your data, and Snapchat's My AI has people increasingly worried about what data the app has collected thus far. After all, the voluntary data we give these AI programs have allowed them to learn the nuances of human interaction, speech and more.
It might be best to delete the app for a while.
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