Snapchat's My AI feature, an in-app AI chatbot launched earlier this year with its fair share of controversy, briefly appeared to have a mind of its own. On Tuesday, the AI posted its own Story to the app and then stopped responding to users' messages, which some Snapchat users found disconcerting.
"My Snapchat AI posted a random 1 second story and isn't replying to me AND IM FREAKED OUT," posted one user, @RyanJKrul on X (formerly Twitter).
My Snapchat AI posted a random 1 second story and isn’t replying to me AND IM FREAKED OUT
— Ryan™ (@RyanJKrul) August 16, 2023
"i think I've seen this film before...and i didn't like the ending," wrote another user @repmiIas on X.
"It went sentient," joked @Zander0009.
The Story My AI posted was just a two-toned image that some mistook to be a photo of their own ceiling, which added to the mystery. When users tried to chat with the bot, the AI in some cases replied to users by saying "Sorry, I encountered a technical issue."
Did Snapchat Ai just add a picture of my wall/ceiling to their Snapchat story?
Snapchat AI - Left
My wall/ceiling- Right pic.twitter.com/bh8I3Aiwun
— Matt Esparza (@matthewesp) August 16, 2023
Though the incident made for some great tweets (er, posts), we regret to inform you that My AI did not develop self-awareness and a desire to express itself through Snapchat Stories. Instead, the situation arose because of a technical outage, just as the bot explained.
Snap confirmed the issue, which was quickly addressed last night, was just a glitch. (And My AI wasn't snapping photos of your room, by the way.)
"My AI experienced a temporary outage that's now resolved," a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
However, the incident does raise the question as to whether or not Snap was considering adding new functionality to My AI that would allow the AI chatbot to post to Stories. Currently, the AI bot sends text messages and can even Snap you back with images -- weird as they may be. But does it do Stories? Not yet, apparently.
"At this time, My AI does not have Stories feature," a Snap spokesperson told us, leaving us to wonder if that may be something Snap has in the works.
Snap's My AI was a controversial new addition to the app, which initially resulted in users leaving one-star reviews on the App Store and calling for its removal, as the AI was pinned to the top of the Chat feed and couldn't be removed or disabled. The AI also faced safety concerns, after tests found that it would respond in an inappropriate manner to minors' messages, a report by The Washington Post found. Snap later added additional safeguards and parental controls.
It's been interesting to watch how young users have since reacted to the in-app AI chatbot, as some bullied My AI for kicks, while others remain convinced the addition is a little creepy -- especially when it began to express itself through Stories, as if it had a mind of its own.
Why my AI posting stuff … This is creepy pic.twitter.com/rwWAqe2tCO
— Sid (@ssn02112) August 16, 2023
But for the time being, My AI is now back to working normally, we understand -- well, if you call these random generative AI Snaps "normal," that is.