Snapchat is about to give new meaning to the “chat” part of its name.
Snap, the company behind Snapchat, announced on Wednesday that its customizable My AI chatbot, is now accessible to all users within the app. The feature, which is powered by the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT, was previously only available to paying Snapchat+ subscribers.
The tool offers recommendations, answers questions, helps users make plans and can write a haiku in seconds, according to the company. It can be brought into conversation with friends when it’s mentioned with “@MyAI.” Users can also give it a name and design a custom Bitmoji avatar for it to personalize it more.
The move comes more than a month after ChatGPT creator OpenAI opened up access to its chatbot to third-party businesses. Snap, Instacart and tutor app Quizlet were among the early partners experimenting with adding ChatGPT.
Since its public release in November 2022, ChatGPT has stunned many users with its impressive ability to generate original essays, stories and song lyrics in response to user prompts. The initial wave of attention on the tool helped renew an arms race among tech companies to develop and deploy similar AI tools in their products.
The initial batch of companies tapping into ChatGPT’s functionality each have slightly different visions for how to incorporate it. Taken together, however, these services may test just how useful AI chatbots can really be in our everyday life and how much people want to interact with them for customer service and other uses across their favorite apps.
Adding ChatGPT features also may come with some risks. The tool, which is trained on vast troves of data online, can spread inaccurate information and has the potential to respond to users in ways they might find inappropriate.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Snap acknowledged “My AI is far from perfect but we’ve made a lot of progress.”
It said, for example, about 99.5% of My AI responses conform to its community guidelines. Snap said it has made changes to “help protect against responses that could be inappropriate or harmful.” The company also said it has added moderation technology and included the new feature to its in-app parental tools.
“We will continue to use these early learnings to make AI a more safe, fun, and useful experience, and we’re eager to hear your thoughts,” the company said.