It’s raining AI chatbots. After OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google introduced ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Bard, respectively, instant messaging platform Snapchat is now embracing the trend as well. Named “My AI,” Snapchat’s new bot will be accessible from the app’s chat tab, above all other conversations.
Company CEO Evan Spiegel told The Verge that while My AI will be initially available only to Snapchat+ subscribers, the goal is to eventually make the bot available for all users. Snapchat+ is a subscription service that lets users gain access to exclusive features and prioritised support for Rs 49 per month, similar in essence to Twitter Blue.
While My AI functions very much like ChatGPT, it’s a lot more restricted in what it can answer. The Verge reports that Snap’s employees have trained it to adhere to the company’s safety guidelines to avoid responses that include swearing, violence, sexually explicit content, and opinions on sensitive topics.
Getting AI chatbots to “behave” is perhaps the single biggest challenge the companies behind them are trying to overcome right now. While OpenAI has limited ChatGPT’s propensity to give out unhinged responses to queries by cutting off its access to the internet, Microsoft did it by temporarily imposing daily limits on the number of queries a user can ask the new Bing.
MyAI has also been stripped of functionality that allows it to write essays, so that could save the chatbot from getting banned at schools and universities. Spiegel also told The Verge that Snap will be incorporating LLMs from other vendors besides OpenAI with time, which should help improve the quality and accuracy of its responses.
Combining different LLMs may sound familiar to someone who’s heard of Quora’s Poe AI chatbot. The company is aiming to become a one-stop destination for LLMs (large language models) with an API that will allow developers to plug into Poe and resultantly gain an interface for their models.
Snapchat’s AI chatbot announcement comes at a time when the company’s business is struggling even as its active users just crossed the 750 million mark. After a lacklustre fourth-quarter earnings report, Snap’s shares plunged 88% from its 2021 high, with losses topping $110 billion. AI chatbots is one of the biggest buzzwords in the tech world right now and Snap looks to be tapping that for a much-needed rejuvenation of the company.