Have you ever witnessed an idea that was so bad that you wondered why and how it was ever released, let alone pass an ethics committee? That’s how I felt when reading the press release that Snapchat was bringing ChatGPT to its platform.
ChatGPT, for those who don’t know, is an AI chatbot tool that can do a huge amount of things. From giving you ideas about what your next meal should be, to building computers or teaching you how to play Pokemon. ChatGPT is a truly amazing tool, that should be used with critical thinking and always taken with a pinch of salt.
Linus, from Linus Tech Tips, was able to show from start to finish the process of ChatGPT recommending products all the way to building the computer. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but you should have a look at the video to see it for yourself.
My AI is accessible by default in the chat section of Snapchat for Snapchat+ Subscribers. It’ll be accessible by swiping right on the camera screen then you can tap into it, like you would if you were messaging anyone else. Like any AI, the more you tell it about yourself and others the more accurate it will become. So, you could start telling it your likes and dislikes, give your new AI companion a nickname and other things that may strike your fancy. However, this can be subject to abuse.
In this seemingly arbitrary example about a haiku about someone named Lukas who likes cheese. Gives you all the information you need about how this could be used for abuse. Children can be rather cruel to each other sometimes. Cyberbullying and other bullying are unfortunate experiences in a lot of young people’s lives. With the ability to change the AI’s name on the fly and then the ability for that AI to send something mean about someone who may smell or anything else you could imagine. It’s hard not to see how this can only end in tears.
Since Snapchat’s user base is predominantly teens or young adults, Stastisa cites that over 48% of users are between the ages of 15 – 25 years old. Since AI is not perfect and can be heavily influenced to say whatever you want it to. Especially since there have been initiatives made by Tiktok and Instagram for there to be more control around the content minors have access to. In fact, it is arguably something Snapchat is aware of, saying, “Please be aware of its many deficiencies and sorry in advance!”
Saying sorry in advance of something is not a real apology, Snapchat. If you know something has the potential to harm others—specifically minors and young people – then maybe it’s not something you should be doing in the first place. More importantly, I fail to see what benefit it has to the user. So I can’t help but wonder why bother implementing it at all other than to hop on the latest trend. If I’m missing something obvious, please tell me in the comments down below.
My AI has already started rolling out probationary to users on Snapchat + subscribers, so keep an eye on your accounts for more details of when its being released to you.