Who Snapchat is automatically friends with My AI since February 2023. Behind it is an artificial intelligence that answers questions, chats and overall comes across like a “real” friend. For users, this can be a nice toy – but it should also be used with caution.
My AI is based on Chat GPT . The chatbot has been publicly usable since November 2022 and offers a counterpart with whom you can talk almost like a person. The chatbot has a natural language answer to (almost) every question.
The Snapchat variant even seems a bit more “human”: you can personalize it, give it a name, and exchange texts or pictures with it. It is not only helpful in preparing a presentation, but can also find ways to predict the weather or comfort you in case of heartbreak.
My AI works very intuitively and straightforwardly – for children, communicating with a robot like with real friends can be very fascinating. Especially for a quick research or if a topic is on your mind and no one else has time to talk, My AI offers itself and is often really helpful. According to the provider, the AI chatbot has been adapted to give answers appropriate to the age of the user. Other chatbots do not necessarily have this function.
With all the personification of My AI, it can be hard for kids to realize that the chatbot is not a real person – nor can they build a friendship with it that goes beyond superficial chats.
In addition, the chatbot’s answers are often appropriate, but not always correct. It is sometimes difficult for children to distinguish what information they can rely on and where they need to be critical.
Also, kids should be careful about feeding the bot too much personal information – because Snapchat collects information and stores it too. The location is also queried and used to provide location-based recommendations (such as on restaurants, etc.). Note: Snapchat or My AI also accesses the location in ghost mode – if you don’t want to be ‘tracked’ at all, you have to disallow access to the location in general.
Snapchat itself states that My AI is primarily a useful information search tool – for quizzes, birthday gifts, or planning a hike. The provider certainly acknowledges that responses can also be “biased, false, harmful or misleading.” He therefore recommends only researching undisputed topics and points out that My AI is constantly being developed.
As a parent, be sure to discuss the offer with your child. In principle, there is nothing to be said against the use of chatbots – but with a certain amount of caution and an awareness of the limits of artificial intelligence.
It is best to try out My AI together and explain to your child in detail that My AI is a computer program and not a real person. Give him tips on how to deal with disinformation and verify information from other sources.
Talk to your child about how to handle their personal information online and determine together what private information is private and what your child should not share.