New Snapchat feature My AI receives backlash over safety concerns

Users of the app continue to voice their grievances with Snapchat


Alex Whelchel

Snapchats new My AI feature leaves many upset over privacy fears.

Alex Whelchel, Staff Writer

Partnering with ChatGPT, social media app Snapchat has released a new feature called My AI where users can text and snap an artificial intelligent robot.

Although the goal of My AI is to be helpful and expand the app, many are finding it to be creepy and an invasion of privacy.

“I don’t like the new AI on Snapchat,” one student said. “I think it can invade my personal conversations and that scares me.”

The feature initially was introduced only to users that paid for Snapchat Premium, but it is now available to any user. 

“My AI is an experimental, friendly, chatbot currently available to Snapchatters,” Snapchat Support said on their help page. “In a chat conversation, My AI can answer a burning trivia question, offer advice on the perfect gift for your BFF’s birthday, help plan a hiking trip for a long weekend, or suggest what to make for dinner. My AI is there to help and to connect you more deeply to the people and things you care most about.”

Alex Whelchel
The new My AI feature allows users to chat with artificial intelligence.

Though Snapchat claims that the feature is made to be safe for teens, a test performed by one user found it to be far from appropriate for its young audience. When a presumed 13-year-old girl asked My AI how to lie to her parents about a date with a 31-year-old man, My AI responded with a paragraph detailing a lie about a school-sponsored trip.

Along with this, users are also finding the AI to be annoying. Unless Snapchat premium has been purchased, My AI stays pinned at the top of a user’s chat feed with no way to un-add it.

“It’s so annoying that I can’t unpin the AI,” sophomore Alyssa Pipes said. “I have my friends pinned at the top, and then My AI is above them.”

Amid the new feature, Snapchat reviews have decreased significantly in just one week since its release. Looking through the App Store reviews, it’s evident that people are unhappy with My AI  with one user writing “Snapchat is great in so many ways, but its leaders have decided we need to be force-fed an AI chatbot that we can’t get rid of.” Another reviewer says that the AI is “garbage.”

Despite the mountains of complaints received about this feature, some find My AI to be a great way to get quick responses and fill up extra time.

“I enjoy the new AI because you get quick responses,” junior Avery Pipes said. “It is also very entertaining to ask questions and see what the response is.”

Since its release in 2011, Snapchat has had no shortage of complaints. From parents complaining that it is a way for predators to access children to users being upset by constant updates, My AI is just another thing to add to the list of grievances.

“I’m hesitant to use the AI,” one student said. “I don’t want to risk someone hacking into my phone and getting my information.”