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SnapGPT? AI chatbot launched for Snapchat users

Snapchat is introducing a new in-app tool (PA) (PA Wire)
Snapchat is introducing a new in-app tool (PA) (PA Wire)

The rapid march of AI chatbots has now made its way into social media apps as Snapchat has launched a new experimental interactive tool for some of its users.

According to owner Snap, the new tool, called My AI, “can recommend birthday gift ideas for your BFF, plan a hiking trip for a long weekend, suggest a recipe for dinner, or even write a haiku about cheese for your cheddar-obsessed pal.”

My AI has been “trained to have a unique tone and personality that plays into Snapchat’s core values around friendship, learning, and fun.”

The feature is currently only available to fee-paying Snapchat plus subscribers, but Snap said it plans to eventually make it available to all 750 million monthly users.

The social media giant warned that the new technology “is prone to hallucination and can be tricked into saying just about anything.” Snap advised users to avoid sharing secrets with the chatbot and warned them not to rely on it for any advice. Anyone who experiences incorrect, harmful or misleading information is encouraged to submit feedback to Snap.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told The Verge: “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, and this is something we’re well positioned to do as a messaging service.”

The new feature is the latest sign the world’s largest tech companies are clamouring to showcase their AI credentials in a bid to avoid losing out in the race to automate. Last month, Microsoft committed a billion-dollar investment into ChatGPT owner OpenAI, while Google has announced the launch of its own rival chatbot, called Bard.

The announcement by Snap comes at a difficult time for the video-sharing app popular with teens.

Last month, the Snapchat owner posted a whopping $288 million (£234 million) loss for the fourth quarter, reversing profits of $23 million it made in the previous year and sending its shares down as much as 12.6%.

That brings its total losses to the year to over $1.4 billion, rounding off a difficult period for the firm which saw its share price lose about two-thirds of its value.