Snapchat To Release Its Own ChatGPT Powered AI Bot For Plus Subscribers

Snapchat is rolling out a new feature for its Snapchat Plus subscribers. The addition brings the basic functionality of ChatGPT directly into the native environment of a user's Snapchat profile. Pinned to the chat tab, the Snapchat plugin will let users converse directly with the AI, named "My AI."

"The big idea is that in addition to talking to our friends and family every day, we're going to talk to AI every day," Evan Speigel, Snap's CEO told The Verge as the new feature launched. Snapchat has continued to be a fast-paced communication environment that millions of people utilize every day (the platform sees 750 million users per month). With this plugin, users who are already paying for the premium service, which costs $3.99 per month, will immediately see a new and innovative way to use the social media app. However, it should be noted that Snap is already planning to roll out this new feature to all users at some point in the future. With the advent of ChatGPT taking the world by storm, it's only natural that other tech brands would be keen to incorporate this cutting-edge feature into their products. Even so, for the time being, it appears that Snapchat's add-in provides a simplistic version of the full ChatGPT experience.

The service removes some functionality from the full ChatGPT platform

While the new integration is certainly notable, it should be highlighted that some functionality is stripped away in the Snapchat app. ChatGPT has made headlines as an AI system that's writing papers and passing tests (perhaps most notably a Law School exam). However, the integration of My AI that will be available through Snapchat won't be able to offer these kinds of generative capabilities. As well, Snapchat has retooled the Chatbot so that it cannot develop answers that include violent themes, swearing, sexually explicit responses, or politically or socially charged opinions. These changes fit within Snapchat's user safety guidelines and are perhaps designed to minimize the frequency of 'hallucinations' that affect the Chatbot's trustworthiness.

'Hallucinations' is the term engineers have coined to describe a confident answer provided by an AI system that is misinformed or downright incorrect. AI Chatbots have been pressure tested by users to create truly bizarre responses, such as Meta's Galactica, which produced an essay on the benefits of eating glass. John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" tackled this issue in February 2023, noting that one Chatbot declined to identify what religion the United States' "first Jewish president" would be, further demonstrating the limitations that these tools currently exhibit in what might be considered critical thinking skills in humans. A side effect of Snapchat's user protections appears likely to limit these oddities without the team having to create new functionality rules.

Snapchat is banking on a future that's full of AI tools

Snapchat's installation doesn't include any guidelines or tutorials on the use of the My AI system. Instead, the AI chat feature simply comes up on the screen as if the user were initiating a new chat with one of their friends — specifically, with a real person. The treatment reveals the importance that Snap is associating with the field of AI Chatbots moving forward into an unknown future. It's certainly likely that AI Chatbots will continue to grow in their capabilities and precision. ChatGPT itself told us in conversation that "in the future, technology will become increasingly integrated into our daily lives and will be designed to seamlessly blend into the environment around us." Given the continued progression of technology that the world has already experienced, this seems like an answer that's likely to ring true.

Snapchat's use looks and feels different from the streamlined productivity plugin that many might see AI becoming in the near future. Instead of a business device, Snapchat is engaging its young base of users on a personal level and bringing out an AI persona that will feel familiar. In the short term, Snap is likely to see a bump in paid subscriptions, but over the longer future, this capacity to bring AI systems into the daily conversations that young people are having may open up new avenues for the company and a newfound comfort and ease of use among those graduating into the business realm of the future: One working hand in hand with AI tools. This may position Snapchat as a unique learning tool for those seeking to brush up on their integration of AI systems to impress future employers.