Every day we are becoming more and more reliant on Artificial Intelligence. We might have started off with just Siri, but now we’ve got AI that can write essays, complete paintings, and even fake our voices.
What is Snapchat’s New AI ‘Friend’?
Snapchat recently added an AI feature (which is not removable unless you buy Snapchat Plus!). It’s called ‘My AI’ and it sits above all your other conversations, dominating your chats.
According to Snapchat ‘My AI can answer a burning trivia question, offer advice on the perfect gift for your BFF’s birthday, help plan a hiking trip for a long weekend or suggest what to make for dinner’. My AI is set up to be a friendly companion.
It doesn’t seem threatening initially, in fact, it seems quite fun. Until you’ve watched a few TikTok videos that is!
What is TikTok Saying About Snapchat’s AI Feature?
Creators have taken to TikTok to share their creepy interactions with their AI friend.
There are many examples (and yes I’m sure some are fake!) where the AI reveals that it knows more than it is meant to and then quickly backtracks.
Some TikToks show the AI replying to a photo despite claiming it cannot see photos. Even worse than this, some creators are sharing TikToks where the AI has not only commented on a photo, but on something which is out of shot. It just terrifies me!
@i_amthespeedhunter has shared a moment where the AI revealed it knew the location of the user. Again we all knew that Snapchat knows your location. Otherwise, how would Snapmaps work? But there is something deeply settling about a robot telling you that it knows your location.
Why is the Snapchat Feature so Creepy?
Why has the AI feature suddenly appeared? Whilst it is being marketed as a fun little upgrade, the very sudden appearance of it, not to mention the fact you can’t delete it, is definitely ringing alarm bells for a lot of people.
The assumption is that it is being used to collect data, as with most things. But there is definitely something significantly creepier about this AI…
What Does a Software Engineer Think?
Software Engineer, Sean Hoult, has told Trill that “with Snapchat AI being a fairly new feature, it is hard to tell for sure how useful it is likely to be and exactly what it can be used for”.
According to Hoult the AI is “much more conversational and human-like than others. It seems to be fairly decent at carrying a conversation and coming up with topics to talk about by itself”.
However, Hoult also remarked that “I’m yet to find a reason why it is needed as it’s not as useful as other AI bots. It tends to be easily manipulated by users and often over-confidently reports incorrect information”.
So are TikTok users causing a panic over nothing?
What about AI Filters on TikTok?
TikTok has many filters which use AI. These range from AI creating artwork, to changing you into a different person, to creating completely fake videos and photos of people and using their voices.
Whilst these can be a bit of fun it is easy to see how this could have negative consequences.
@cospeach created a TikTok which illuminates that these consequences are already beginning. According to this user, Artifical Intelligence is plagiarising other artists’ work. Artificial Intelligence cannot create anything new so it is simply copying other people’s work. This means that the original creators do not receive any credit for their ideas. This is only going to get worse.
Is Artificial Intelligence Going to Take Away Jobs?
According to the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs Report 2020,” Artifical Intelligence will take away 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025.
In 2018, Kai-Fu Lee (Artificial Intelligence expert and CEO of Sinovation Ventures) wrote that within 15 years, 50 percent of all jobs will be automated by AI.
We’re currently in a cost-of-living crisis, and we’re removing jobs to give to what? Robots? It’s unbelievable.
What are the Tech Experts Saying?
This March, experts like Elon Musk, cognitive scientist Gary Marcus and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called for a six-month pause in AI development.
The letter which called for this pause stated that Artificial Intelligence systems with “human-competitive intelligence” pose profound risks to humanity.
Stephen Hawking himself said that AI “could spell the end of the human race”.
I think it’s time we listen to the warnings from experts and stop being so reliant on robots!