You may have noticed a new contact in Snapchat, with a notification saying “My AI has sent a chat”. The good news is that My AI isn’t some weirdo who’s stalking you, but rather a kind of digital companion based on the now-famous ChatGPT AI software.
My AI could actually be helpful and fun, so here’s a quick rundown of what this virtual friend is all about.
What is My AI?
You’ve probably seen stories about ChatGPT in the news recently but, if not, you can read our guide to ChatGPT to get up to speed. Basically, it’s the new artificial intelligence engine that can write stories, tell jokes, and provide information when asked questions. In some ways it’s similar to Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, but its powers are a bit more expansive, not to mention it can have conversations in a more ‘human’ fashion.
Snapchat has added a version of ChatGPT to its app, and called it My AI. This appears as a new chat and, if you tap on it, you’ll be able to have long conversations that feel almost like talking with a real person.
For example, here’s the exchange we had with My AI regarding what were our favourite films.
It can be more than just a digital curio though, as Snapchat states that 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.’
Many people we’ve talked to since the launch of My AI have found it a bit creepy to have this rather enthusiastic friend appear in their contact list. But, once you know what it is (and isn’t), My AI has the possibility to be a bit of a laugh that you can test with rambling conversations or ask for some genuine help.
Like all modern AI programs, the software learns from you and can remember your likes and dislikes, so the more you talk with it the better it should perform.
Does My AI store data about our conversations?
In order to learn from you, it needs to remember things that you’ve said. Which means it does indeed keep the data from your past conversations. If this is something you don’t want to happen, then you can delete it manually, but of course this means that My AI will remain somewhat basic when it comes to communicating with you.
To delete the data, follow these simple steps:
Go to your profile and choose the Settings icon, scroll down to Privacy Controls, then select Clear Data and Clear My AI Data and confirm your choice.
Go to your profile and choose the Settings icon, scroll down to Account Actions, tap Clear My AI Data and confirm your choice.
Is it safe to use Snapchat’s My AI?
Yes, in the same way that it’s safe to use Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant. The program is there to try and help you, while also providing a bit of entertainment along the way. As this is experimental software though, you should take any advice it gives with a large pinch of salt, as there’s no guarantee that it will be accurate.
Snapchat does say that you should avoid sharing confidential or sensitive information with My AI, which seems sensible to us. For mucking about with weird conversations it’s a silly but amusing distraction, just remember it isn’t actually your friend, so don’t pour out your heart to the seemingly friendly person in your phone, as that information could end up on a server somewhere. Instead, a trusty old diary would be a better option or, of course, just chat with your human friends instead.
Are there any limits on what I can ask My AI to do?
Snapchat recommends that you don’t ask My AI to try to create any content that would violate its community guidelines. This includes anything sexually explicit, content that could be used to harass or bully someone else, anything threatening or harmful, content that impersonates or could fool people into believing things that are not true, plus of course it should never be used for hate speech or illegal activities.