My AI is Snapchat’s newest feature to the app, and I find it both amusing and horrifying. According to Snapchat support, ‘My AI’ is an experimental, friendly, chatbot. My AI is essentially aimed to be a helpful friend who you can discuss your interests, and dislikes with as well as someone you can go to for advice… these are Snapchat’s words, not mine. My AI feels straight out of a Black Mirror episode, it won’t be long before someone develops romantic feelings for My AI, much like Theodore does with an AI virtual assistant in the movie Her. Watching technology and artificial intelligence advance seems a little unreal. I have conflicting emotions about it. I find the advancement fascinating, but I am also slightly terrified.
With the continuous growth of AI, I am concerned about the job market, which is currently quite bad. I am also concerned about the unemployment rate, which I fear will drop further. An MIT and Boston University report says that “AI is expected to replace as many as two million manufacturing workers by 2025.” Although My AI may seem like a fun and harmless tool, this is simply the beginning of our technological development. While I do not believe we will go to war with robots like the movies make it out to be, I do believe that we need to be more cautious and aware of the future as many people’s jobs are on the line.
Many users are leaving bad reviews as they find the feature “creepy” as the bot often contradicts itself and lies about certain things. I was aware that a feature like My AI would be able to access my location because I have services enabled, but I didn’t like that when I asked it where I lived, it told me. But when I asked how they knew, they said I had told them when I never gave that information. The feature raises many privacy concerns as your newest pocket friend can also see images you send and will acknowledge what is shown to them. What I dislike the most about this feature is that you can’t unpin it from the top of your messages unless you sign up for their $3.99 monthly subscription. I knew I was not the only one who feels this way when Tik Tok user @fishnecks shared a funny video with the caption, “When my Snapchat AI thinks it has the right to be pinned above my bf.” The video has now accumulated 780,000 likes with 7,500 comments from people who were also wondering how to get rid of the feature.
Many users do not like that we can’t remove this feature, so I think Snapchat should provide users the choice to unpin My AI. The most recent reviews of this app have been negative because of that reason. I believe that all companies should pay attention to what their customers want, and if many users have uninstalled and/or are considering deleting the app, Snapchat needs to act quickly. I could do without a feature like this, but I did enjoy trolling mine for the short period of time that it entertained my boyfriend and me.