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Snapchat's Mighty New AI Bot: Unleashing a Wave of Privacy and Addiction Worries for Parents and Teens

Are Parents and Teens Ready for the Change?

My AI is an experimental, friendly, chatbot currently available to Snapchatters.

Hey there, Digital Dynamos! Let's dive into some juicy news about the latest feature on my daughter's most beloved app: meet My AI, Snapchat's experimental chatbot that promises to "connect you more deeply to the people and things you care about most." Sounds cool, right? Well, not everyone's on board.

Parents and teens alike are raising eyebrows over potential privacy and addiction concerns. Picture this: you ask your new AI BFF what color to paint your nails, and it guesses the exact shade you had in mind. Creepy or cool? Some users say it's the former, worrying that My AI will make the app even more addictive and invasive.

Snapchat’s My AI offers users personalized responses to their questions and provides recommendations.

Now, don't get me wrong: AI can be super helpful, from sparking creativity to making us feel less judged in conversation. One Snapchatter even claimed that their AI buddy helped them with depression. Talk about a virtual shoulder to lean on!

But every rose has its thorns. Experts like Lynne Parker, Director of the University of Tennessee's AI Initiative, warn that AI chatbots can be addictive and may not keep our information private. Plus, there's the risk of "hallucinations" – times when the chatbot sounds super convincing, but feeds us false information. Yikes!

So, how does My AI work? It scours the internet and analyzes texts to generate responses that mimic human conversation. Snapchat even warns users that My AI's replies might be "biased, incorrect, harmful, or misleading." Spooky stuff, huh?

But before you rush to delete Snapchat… remember that AI isn't all bad. It has the potential to teach us loads of new info in a fun, conversational way. Just be aware of the risks, and don't let AI exploit or deceive you.

And it's not just teens who need to be on guard. Older folks, who may be less suspicious of virtual interactions, are also vulnerable to scams. So, whether you're a digital native or a tech-savvy grandma, stay vigilant! Verify what you read, test people's identities with offline shared experiences, keep your personal info to yourself, and – most importantly – find the right balance in your online life.

Catch you on the Snap-side!

-Chris Winfield
Founder, Understanding AI

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