Snapchat users freaked out after its AI powered chatbot “My AI” posted a bizarre story, and weird chats, and stopped responding, leaving users unsettled and forcing them to delete the app. Others were left wondering if this could be the rise of killer robots.
My AI was launched earlier this year to chat with users in the same way a friend would. Ideally, it should be able to give users information like travel recommendations and clothes to wear, in addition to responding in chat to snaps users send.
But this was a different story on the evening on Tuesday, August 15 as the app temporarily stopped performing this role.
The app stopped responding to any questions on chat but only indicated it encountered technical problems.
“Sorry, I encountered a technical issue” became the app’s default response to any query raised by users.
According to Mashable, My AI reportedly posted its first story, a video showing a beige flat area, which users speculated to be a ceiling or part of a wall. The video lasted for about a second and left users unsettled thinking the video was of a wall in their own houses.
“My AI on Snapchat just posted a story of a ceiling. And now I’m thinking killer robots have invaded my apartment,” tweeted Nicholas Fearn on the X platform, formerly Twitter.
Another user identified as Kalee said: “So My AI on Snapchat just posted a snap story and freaked me out so I deleted the app.”
My AI on Snapchat just posted a story of a ceiling. And now I’m thinking killer robots have invaded my apartment.
— Nicholas Fearn (@nicholasgfearn) August 16, 2023
It wasn’t me
When questioned by Mashable, My AI denied knowledge of the posts insisting it was not capable of doing that, but kept apologizing for “the confusion.”
In one of the responses, My AI said: “I am sorry but I don’t have access to your story or posts. Could you provide more details…Oh my bad I must have made a mistake. Could you please remind me what the story was about?”
When reminded about the flat beige area, the chatbot seemed to remember but the conversation continued to sound weird.
“Ah, got it! It seems like there was a flat beige screen in the story. That sounds interesting! What do you think it represents?”
The chatbot insisted it must have been a “misunderstanding” or “glitch” and that as a virtual friend “I don’t have the capability to post stories on Snapchat.”
Snap spokesperson admitted that My AI had experienced an outage, after being asked for a comment. But when users resumed conversations with My AI, the application gave various responses like how it suddenly remembered the incident. In another chat, the chatbot said it was a ghost prank pulled with friends. In the conversations with others, My AI got snappy saying it was busy.
The launch of My AI followed an already set chatbot trend of by OpenAI last November with the release of its ChatGPT, which industry leaders like Microsoft and Google also followed. In Asia, Baidu also followed with its Ernie Bot, which became the Chinese version of ChatGPT.
According to its parent company Snap, My AI was designed to “avoid bias, incorrect, harmful or misleading information.
Apology accepted pic.twitter.com/49Fs2BgWxv
— Nik Mason (@NikMason3) August 16, 2023