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On Tuesday 15th August, Snapchat, the popular social media platform, experienced a peculiar incident recently that caused a mix of concern and amusement among its users. The platform’s AI-powered chatbot, known as My AI, seemingly went rogue, posting a story by itself which left many users baffled.
Now dubbed the “Snapchat AI Chatbot ‘Sentience’ Glitch”, what do know about the Snapchat AI story?
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Snapchat AI story – the Snapchat AI Chatbot ‘Sentience’ Glitch
On Tuesday evening, 15th August 2023, snap users took to Twitter to express their concern at what seemed to be a case of rogue AI. Snapchat’s My AI chatbot posted the following image, a two-toned image, without any text or indeed context. This lead users to make up their own minds about what was going on. Some users even joked about the chatbot becoming sentient, adding a humorous twist to the situation. The post was a two-toned image, on the stories feature, which prompted confusion and intrigue.
Concerns regarding the snap AI story flared due to its simplicity leading many users to believe it was a photo of their own ceiling being shared with millions of other users. This naturally leads to the question – is it accessing your devices camera and taking photos of your room? Or is it accessing your camera roll and uploading photos from your phone? It’s hard to tell which would be more concerning. Thankfully, the answer is neither. At least, not in the case of the infamous Snapchat AI story. It is important to note that Snap and Snapchat have not confirmed any sentience or intentional behavior on the part of My AI.
Is Snapchat AI safe?
The general consensus right now is that we should be concerned about AI, specifically about it becoming sentient and “breaking free” of its digital shackles. Of course, we’ve been primed for this belief in all forms of pop culture for the past hundred years or more.
The recenet rise of AI apps, spurred on by the worlds favourite AI chat bot ChatGPT, has only ignited these concerns. How to align the intentions of a truly intelligent and indepedent AI with the best interests of human kind is an unsolved puzzle. Thankfully, we’re not at the point of AGI (Artifical General Intelligence) just yet – but we’d best solve that puzzle before we get there.
The kinds of AI we have today are far from the science fiction. Well, far enough. ChatGPT being the most well-known, OpenAI’s LLM (Large Language Model) suffers from some similar traits, allowing it to hallucinate information or even permissions that it doesn’t have. While there is a case to be made about being cautious, OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology and that of the Snapchat app are far from the killer robots in the Terminator.
User Reactions on Social Media
The technical issue prompted users to share their experiences and thoughts on social media. For instance, a Snapchat user posted a comparison image on Twitter, questioning whether My AI had added a picture of his own wall and ceiling to its Snapchat story. This tweet, along with others, served as evidence of the glitch and fueled the perplexity surrounding the issue.
The Snapchat AI Chatbot ‘Sentience’ Glitch quickly gained attention and became a topic of discussion among Snapchat users, with some making jokes about the in-app AI chatbot.
Snap’s Response and Explanation
Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, was swift in responding to the speculation and concerns raised by users. They confirmed that the issue was indeed a glitch and that it had been promptly addressed. A spokesperson for the company reassured users that My AI had not been snapping photos of their rooms and clarified that the chatbot only experienced a temporary outage that had since been resolved.
Snapchat AI Chatbot ‘Sentience’ Glitch: Conclusion
The Snapchat AI chatbot glitch that resulted in My AI posting a video to its story and then refusing to respond left users puzzled and amused. However, Snapchat was very quick in addressing the controversy, attributing the AI’s responses to a temporary technical glitch. The incident showed the limitations of AI-powered chatbots and the occasional unexpected behavior that can arise.