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Snapchat unveils AI chatbot powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT

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Snap Inc. revealed today that the company plans to jump on the artificial intelligence bandwagon by adding a chatbot powered by OpenAI LLC’s ChatGPT named “My AI” to its multimedia instant messaging app Snapchat.

The company unveiled details about the new service in an announcement stating that users will be able to talk to the AI for recommendations about birthday gift ideas, event plans, dinner recipes and more.

However, it also warned that users shouldn’t use it for anything other than simple questions and that the AI can “hallucinate” or be tricked to say strange things. This is in response to the fact that AI chatbots based on ChatGPT can behave strangely as revealed by Microsoft Corp.’s new Bing AI-powered chatbot, which can go completely off the rails in conversations.

Even with these issues, Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel feels hopeful about the future of AI and told The Verge that he felt that adding it to the instant messaging app would be the next step in human and AI interactions.

“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,” he said. “And this is something we’re well positioned to do as a messaging service.”

Once launched, Snapchat users will find My AI in the app under its own tab, and will look a lot like another user. They can talk to it like another human being and converse with it by sending questions back and forth.

Unlike other versions of ChatGPT, the Snapchat bot is much more restricted in what it can do and is carefully curated to be family-friendly. It will not answer questions that will elicit answers related to violence, sexuality, explicit content or charged topics like politics. It will also not assist its users with their homework or writing college essays, which has become a growing cause for concern as chatbots continue to proliferate that are capable of generating large bodies of text.

The release of Snap’s new AI chatbot comes weeks after the announcement of Microsoft’s Bing chatbot and Google LLC’s own internally-developed ChatGPT rival Bard.

The feature will be available to Snapchat+ subscribers, which was announced in June and costs $3.99 per month. Although it will start there, the chatbot could eventually be unlocked for the company’s 750 million active monthly users.

Photo: Unsplash

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