Snapchat’s AI chatbot is now free for all global users, says the AI ​​will ‘snap’ you back later

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Snapchat’s AI chatbot is now opening up to a global audience, the company announced today at the Snap Partner Summit. Originally launched in February, the feature originally allowed Snapchat’s paid subscribers to chat directly in the app with an AI chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT technology. Now it will be available for free. To date, users have sent nearly 2 million messages per day using the chatbot, Snap noted. Today’s global expansion also upgrades the feature with new functionality, including the ability to add My AI to group chats, get recommendations for places on Snap Map and Lenses, and share Snaps with My AI and receive chat replies.

Later on, My AI will be able to respond with unique “generative” Snaps back, rather than just chat replies, the company also said, to keep the visual conversation going.

The idea of ​​integrating AI into the Snapchat app was originally intended to give users another way to engage with the app while capitalizing on growing consumer demand for ChatGPT-like experiences. The company suggested that the feature could be used to suggest birthday gift ideas for a BFF, plan a hiking trip, suggest recipes for dinner, or write a poem for a friend, among other things.

Image Credits: Snap (modified by AapkaDost)

Unfortunately for Snap, the AI ​​quickly went off the rails. Just days after its debut, the Washington Post reported that the bot was acting in an insecure manner. Despite telling the bot that the user was a 15-year-old young teen, the bot made suggestions on how to mask the smell of alcohol and weed at a birthday party. It also wrote an essay for school for the teen. When the bot was told the user was 13, it responded to a question about how to set the mood when having sex for the first time.

Snap said in response that users had tried to “trick the chatbot into providing answers that don’t meet our guidelines,” and rolled out new tools, including age filters to make the AI ​​responses more age-appropriate.

Image Credits: snap

It also said it would introduce insights to its Family Center parental control hub, helping parents and guardians stay on top of their kids’ interactions with the bot.

As of today’s global launch, Snap still hasn’t done so and hasn’t specified when the Family Center controls would go live, noting only that they were still in the works.

Image Credits: Snap (modified by AapkaDost)

Meanwhile, the company is making the chatbot more appealing to younger users by allowing it in group chats with friends, where it can be added with an @mention. This is where the bot enters the chat with a sparkle next to its name to make it clear it’s a bot and not another group member.

Image Credits: snap

The AI ​​can also suggest place recommendations or relevant lenses. For example, it can suggest weekend activities or a good Lens to wish a friend a happy birthday, Snap says.

And it can now respond to your Snaps with a chat response, and later it can generate a visual response. However, the feature is limited to Snapchat+ subscribers, although My AI itself is now free to use.

Speaking at today’s Partner Summit presentation, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel suggested that users who snap a photo of their dog get a funny dog ​​photo back as a generative response, for example.

Image Credits: snap

“Or if you send a Snap of the vegetables growing in your garden, My AI can recommend a recipe,” he added. “We can’t wait to see our community embrace my AI.”

It is not clear what kind of security checks will be involved in the generative aspects. This could be another concern as other generative AI apps, such as Lensa AI, were easily tricked into creating NSFW images.

Other new personalization features will also be introduced, including the ability to name your AI and create a custom Bitmoji to give your My AI more identity.

The feature was only available to Snapchat+ subscription holders at $3.99 per month until today, which could help encourage upgrades. Snap also said today that Snapchat+ now has more than 3 million subscribers. However, the AI ​​will now be generally available, with specific AI features being a paid upgrade.

Note: The article was updated during Snap’s live event to reflect the new My AI pricing structure of free-for-all, paid access to future Generative AI features.

Learn more about Snap Partner Summit 2023

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