it may take a little time for this to take effect
Snapchat’s new My AI feature has caused a stir among its users, with some accusing the chatbot of secretly tracking their location and others desperately trying to delete it.
This has led to a backlash against the platform’s developer Snap, which is relying on AI and augmented reality to boost engagement following the failure of its hardware, original shows, and games.
The My AI chatbot is a customised version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT that can provide answers on a vast range of topics in a conversational manner.
Users can access the feature from atop their chat tab where they normally message their friends.
Snapchat is positioning the chatbot as another one of your friends who you can message for movie recommendations, add to group chats, and have a laugh with.
However, some frustrated users are trying to disable the bot or delete Snapchat altogether.
The criticism is reminiscent of the backlash Snapchat received over its divisive redesign in 2018.
April 2023’s top two posts on the Snapchat subreddit on Reddit are of users asking how to remove the feature from the app.
Location tracking on Snapchat is turned off by default, so Snap can’t pinpoint your whereabouts without your permission.
You can give access to this info by disabling Ghost Mode via the in-app settings.
It uses this info to power features such as Snapchat Maps.
As for its chatbot, the AI uses your Snapchat Maps location to provide you with nearby place recommendations.
For example, if you ask My AI: “What are good Italian restaurants near me?”, it can return suggestions that are a short distance away.
Snapchat shares only city-level locations and generalised distances between you and places, with the large language model (LLM) used for My AI.
Snapchat has explained in a newly published blog post that its bot may still have access to your location for a little time even if you disable the setting.
It said: “If Snapchatters stop sharing their location with Snapchat, it may take a little time for this to take effect in My AI.”
The only official way to get rid of My AI is to pay £3.99 for a monthly subscription to Snap’s premium service, Snapchat+.
You will then be able to remove My AI from the chat feed.
To do so, tap and hold on to the chatbot, select ‘chat settings’ and select ‘clear from my chat feed’.
If you’re eager to try the chatbot, you should have access to it on iPhone and Android as long as your app is up-to-date.
If for some reason you can’t see the bot on your chat feed, you can check to see if Snapchat needs updating via the app store.
A Snapchat representative said:
“My AI is an experimental chatbot that learns over time and can occasionally produce incorrect answers.
“If Snapchatters experience inaccurate responses, we encourage them to report it using our in-app tool.”