The introduction of Snapchat’s AI – called ‘My AI’ – has already been met with resistance and controversy, and new reports from multiple users about the chatbot taking videos without permission could add fuel to the fire.
Several users took to social media to share stories of the Snapchat AI taking videos of their ceilings and walls without any input from them, and then posting the clip as a live Story to all their followers. These are actions that should only be available to human users, not AI, which is what set alarm bells ringing.
Some users on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared their thoughts on the issue, with some seeming to be worried, while others made light of the turn of events. CNN reported on other users sharing their concerns as well. “Why does My AI have a video of the wall and ceiling in their house as their story?” wrote one user. “This is very weird and honestly unsettling,” said another.
A spokesperson from Snap Inc. responded, confirming that the issue, which they said was quickly addressed, was just a glitch. “My AI experienced a temporary outage that’s now resolved,” according to the statement Snap gave to TechCrunch.
Snapchat announced its ChatGPT-powered AI chatbot service back in February 2023, which proved to be an unpopular move once it launched on April 20 of the same year. For instance, how to delete Snapchat Google searches increased to a staggering 488% worldwide by April 26. And the company itself warned users not to trust this feature with private and sensitive information or to provide users with accurate information in return, according to its own Snapchat Support page.
The AI wall
While AI chat can be a fun and sometimes useful tool when used correctly, incidents like this are a reminder that the tech behind it is still in its early stages. And even more troublesome is the fact that companies are releasing this tech into the wild, knowing that it still has plenty of kinks to work out.
This isn’t the first time that a company has rushed out AI features that weren't ready for prime time – Google Bard’s launch saw employees mocking it, with even Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitting that it was like a “souped-up Civic” taking on “more powerful cars.”
It seems to be a wall that companies constantly hit against in their race to integrate AI features into their websites and services. And it seems that as long as the AI craze is still going strong, we’ll keep seeing this same scenario repeating.