Snapchat “My AI,” the Friend We Need?


Artificial intelligence, otherwise known as AI has been around for decades, but has made its way back to the public eye in the midst of its evolution. AI in simple terms is any technological mechanism that performs normally human-related tasks. Ever heard of, “Please leave your message after the beep.” when someone did not answer their phone? This automated voice message is one of the earliest forms of AI, but with modern technology AI is involved to have full-conversations, write entire essays with cited sources, and can create their own forms of people. 

“There’s been this explosion of AI,” Spring Valley African American studies and IBDP psychology teacher Marc Hyles said. “I’m very interested to see how that goes out or what it exempts in the long-term as well.” 

Many companies are competing to create their forms of AI to cater to consumers first. Snapchat is in the spotlight after their release of, “My AI” which is a chatbot feature powered by the same technology as CHATGPT. This new chatbot brings the complex nature of AI into social media and is considered as a source for a variety of reasons from giving advice, helping with homework, and more. The main feature is that it is conversational, where users can use it as an outlet to listen to them and the bot can even give and ask questions. 

“I saw a lot of people ‘breaking’ into their AI and having fun conversations,” Spring Valley Junior, Camilia Quintanar Garcia said. “I think it’s a cool feature and it’s fun to mess around with. It’s like texting someone which can make people feel the same happy effect they feel when talking to people.” 

However, like other AI machinery it is sparking controversy as parents and users are concerned of the feature’s extent to everyday life both socially and ethically. Like other telecommunication applications there are concerns that users, mainly children and teens, may withdraw from in-person social interaction and heavily rely on their AI bot as a companion instead. 

“Human nature is a strange thing,” Hyles said. “If people get comfort or reinforcement from this thing [My AI] I think people will develop an emotional connection; there may come harm or a dependence, but that comes with any technology like cellphones. Anything is possible now.” 

Nevertheless, some users are still discovering the possibilities of what AI can offer and see this new AI buddy as something positive to look forward to.  

“AI buddies or anything, can be both negative and positive,” Junior Richard Echavez said. “It [My AI] is always going to be there, so I think it can be positive for those struggling with social skills as they can learn to talk to others. People born with disabilities or autism pertaining to their social abilities can learn social cues and skills because the bot is so conversational.” 

The extent that AI has on society is steadily increasing, and conversational AI like Snapchat’s bot can change and improve technology further, yet it really depends on what users make of it and do with it. This technology is in the hands of the beholder Grizzlies, do what you can and the most! 

“I think your world [future generation] is going to have so much change, perhaps faster than we’ve ever seen.” Hyles said. “Depending on a person’s extent this [AI] can fall into the wrong hands and change into a dystopian sense, but I tend to be more optimistic and want us to benefit with a period of growth.”