Snap has released its “My AI”, chatbot, to all 750 million Snapchat users monthly for free. This move comes less than two month after the OpenAI bot first became available to ‘s over 3 million paid subscribers.
Snapchat is also integrating My AI more. Snap allows users to customize the Bitmoji avatar and look of their bot by adding it as a group chat. My AI now has the ability to recommend AR filters for Snapchat’s camera, or even places to visit on the map tab. Snap will soon allow users to send My AI generated messages by taking a picture. An example was shown at the company’s conference today, where a photo showed tomatoes in a backyard garden. The bot responded with an image of gazpacho.
Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, sees generative AI as an “awesome creative tool” while Microsoft and Google race to incorporate it into their search engine. He shared examples in a recent interview about using My AI to plan Miranda Kerr’s birthday and create bedtime stories. My AI is already facilitating more than 2,000,000 chats per day, says Spiegel.
Spiegel, a leading AI expert, says that generative AI bots are better suited for creative tasks. “Some of the same things that make generative AI bots so creative also make them less good at remembering specific information.”
“I think that based on how they work, they are much better suited for creative tasks.”
Spiegel describes Snap’s partnership with OpenAI – which provides the large language model that is the basis for My AI – as “close”. He is clearly passionate about this project and views My AI as an important part of Snap’s future. He declined to talk about the cost of running the bot, but I have heard that Snap was surprised by the affordability of the system.
Spiegel is also mum about the potential impact of My AI on Snap’s advertising division , which has been facing significant growth challenges. He acknowledges the potential for using My AI interactions to target ads, but he does not elaborate further.
My AI misbehaved almost immediately after it was released to Snapchat Plus subscribers. The Center for Humane Technology , for instance, posted examples of My AI coaching an 13-year old girl on how to set the ambiance when having sex a 31 year old. Snap added more safeguards for My AI by, such as using the user’s Snapchat age to determine how it responds to prompts.
Spiegel claims that despite the negative interactions, the vast majority of My AI interactions have been positive. He says that the fact that 99.5% of My AI responses were in line with the community guidelines gave him a great deal of confidence.
In the AI industry, there’s a heated debate about whether or not companies should anthropomorphize their chatbots to have human-like personas. Spiegel reports that early users wanted to be able to customize My AI’s appearance and change its name. “To me, it just speaks to human desire to customize things and make them seem like their own.”
Spiegel’s optimistic view on and the harm that generative AI could cause is a response to the larger concerns. “It’s hard to think of another technology in the past 20 years where people were more careful about how it was implemented and rolled-out.”