AI on Snapchat

Words by
Morgan Wilcock

MAR 19, 2024

AI on Snapchat

It seems that AI chatbots are all around us — now even infiltrating social media spaces like Snapchat. Snapchat’s integration of AI is more than a minor feature, it’s a prominent part of the app experience.

What is Snapchat’s new “My AI” feature, and what risks does it pose for kids? 

What Does AI on Snapchat Do?

Snapchat’s “My AI” is simply an AI powered chatbot that answers any prompt a Snapchat user gives it, from telling a joke to describing the tragic events of 9/11 in emojis

The AI chatbot can be found in your chat feed in the Snapchat app, where conversations with My AI are found at the top of your chat feed.

The chatbot can also generate images, but only snapchat subscribers can access this feature. Those who subscribe to Snapchat+ get early access to new Snapchat updates and features, and pay a monthly fee of $3.99.

snapchat My AI

Keep in mind that if your children are subscribed to Snapchat+, you may not have the information you need about new and potentially harmful features until they’ve already been exposed.

Is AI on Snapchat Safe?

Snapchat’s My AI feature poses risks to children that parents should be aware of. Information provided by AI on Snapchat could be misleading or incorrect and images created by the tool could potentially be offensive or explicit.

According to Snapchat’s help page, “My AI is powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, with additional safety enhancements and controls unique to Snapchat.” This language may sound like it’s protecting kids and users from the unsafe effects of AI, but in the same breath Snapchat describes their chatbot as “experimental” and “evolving.” 

My AI is powered by OpenAI, but just because a tech company is the face of the software doesn’t mean that the software is safe. A controversial question about AI chatbots surrounds its ethics and biases. 

AI chatbots operate by plugging the prompt they receive into a database (kind of like Google) and then creating an amalgam of all of the most relevant — or importantly, the most popular — information. This information isn’t always borrowed from accredited sources, but rather from the most clicked and most relevant sources.

Instead of asking for clarification on ambiguous questions, the model just guesses what your question means, which can lead to unintended responses to questions.

—Zabrina Ortiz, Editor, ZDNET

Because it’s a chatbot that pulls from sources all over the internet, answers provided by the chatbot can be incorrect, harmful, or misleading. When a chatbot is pulling from any and all internet sources to answer a prompt, it may include biased or misleading content from news stations, opinion posts, and even social media posts. 

AI Chatbots spit out incorrect material all the time, so conversations around media literacy are vital to helping kids manage tech in an increasingly AI-dominated internet. Snapchat even encourages users to “independently check answers provided by My AI.”

Snapchat also claims to be adding features to their Family Center to help parents monitor their children’s activity on My AI. 

Is AI on Snapchat Private?

User shouldn’t not consider their My AI interactions private. Snapchat collects data from its customers and uses it to improve the app experience and curate ads. This information is harvested from your conversations with My AI, so kids should be extra careful before they share confidential or sensitive information with the bot.

Snapchat logo

If users share their location with Snapchat, My AI uses approximate GPS data to answer prompts like restaurant recommendations. My AI also remembers past conversations to “help My AI learn and improve over time, and personalize your experience.”

Can you get rid of Snapchat AI?

My AI stores all of past conversation data, but luckily for parents, there is a way to both delete conversations with My AI and delete My AI as a whole. 

How to Delete My AI on Snapchat

All Snapchat users can delete My AI conversations. Content on My AI is displayed for 24 hours, and within that time frame, users can simply delete the conversation by long-pressing the conversation and hitting “Delete.” 

For conversations older than 24 hours, users have to go to chat settings in their profile. There, they’ll go to “Privacy Controls,” tap “Clear Data,” then “Clear AI Data.” It can take up to 30 days for the AI data to be totally deleted from Snapchat servers.

How to Get Rid of My AI on Snapchat

Unfortunately, only Snapchat+ subscribers can unpin or remove My AI from their chat feeds. Snapchat+ users can unpin My AI by going to their Snapchat+ banner and toggling My AI from pinned to unpinned. They can remove My AI from their account by going to chat settings and hitting “Clear from chat feed.” 

Dealing with Social Media

As parents, we may feel lost about how to best help our children navigate this technological world. Conversations are always a great place to start. We can provide open and safe spaces for them to ask questions about online safety

If you’re not confident your child is ready for social media (especially social media with AI capabilities), play it safe. There are great options available now that allow parents to give their kids gradual steps into technology, rather than tossing them in the deep end with their first device. 

For example, Gabb devices only have safe apps available for download, like clean music, GPS navigation, and education, which helps ease kids into the world of tech without overwhelming them — and you — with unnecessary difficulty.

What do you think of My AI on Snapchat? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

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