Snapchat’s new ‘My AI’ chatbot could be dangerous for children, expert warns

The feature is now available for all users for free

Popular app Snapchat has ventured into the world of artificial intelligence, with a chatbot called My AI.

Designed to be a ‘personal sidekick’, it can suggest a recipe for dinner or a gift idea for your best friend.

But just weeks after its launch, tech experts have raised concerns about the new tool’s impact on children.

“There are definitely some dangers ahead,” AI expert Joseph Raczynski told Fox News Digital, “but I honestly believe this is something that is very important and a positive thing, but it has to be done in a way that helps people understand what they’re getting into and what they’re actually accomplishing here.”

Snapchat itself warns that “it’s possible My AI’s responses may include biased, incorrect, harmful, or misleading content.” It suggests that users should independently verify any advice it gives before acting on it. It could be argued youngsters are unlikely to do this.

My AI was initially made available to Snapchat’s paid subscribers, but in April it was rolled out to all of Snapchat’s 750 million monthly users for free. Furthermore, it’s currently not optional – the feature appears at the top of your Friends feed, whether you want it to or not

The chatbot uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, which has caused widespread concerns that it could pose risks to society. It has given inaccurate and biased information. In some instances, ChatGPT has provided racist and sexist responses. It hit the headlines for being tricked into giving bomb-making instructions despite its ethical programming.

There have been calls for greater regulation to ensure safety standards are followed. But even with this, critics argue it will still be a major challenge to predict all the ways people may misuse the technology.

Snapchat has an age restriction of 13+. Parentscan access Snapchat’s Family Centre which offers support and allows them to gain insight into what their teenager might be doing on the app while still respecting their privacy.

This scheme will also be extended to the My AI. Snapchat said: “We’re also working on adding additional tools to our Family Centre around My AI that would give parents more visibility and control around their teen’s usage of My AI.”

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