The bot will eventually communicate in pictures. Snap's also making generative AI lenses, too.
Generative AI is everywhere now, and Snap, the parent company of social media network Snapchat, is the latest to fold it into its ecosystem plans. The company's own ChatGPT-based AI tool, called My AI, launched earlier this year as a feature of Snapchat Plus, its service for paying subscribers, but is rolling out in the next few weeks for all accounts. The news was shared by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel at the company's developer-focused Partner Summit on Wednesday.
The AI feature, which aims to be a conversational companion that can recommend Snapchat augmented-reality lenses and respond to a picture you send to it with an AI-generated picture response, could also end up being the glue in the company's ever-expanding ambitions in AR.
My AI takes the visual appearance of a persona, including having its own customized Bitmoji-style avatar. The conversations appear in a similar way that chats with others would appear on the app.
My AI looks, at first, like a social tool or even a toy: The bot can be chatted with one-on-one, or brought into a group with others. My AI can make recommendations of places on Snapchat's Map feature. My AI will respond to images sent to it with text replies, but an upcoming update will also send AI-generated images back in response to those images.
Spiegel has promised that the My AI bot will also focus on age-appropriate content and replies in the future by factoring age of users in, although it's not clear how that will work in practice.
Snapchat also introduced its first generative AI filter, an "immersive, animated sci-fi" effect called Cosmic Lens that's available now.
Snap has been working on developing its own AR glasses, but in the meantime has been focusing on AR on phones and in other location-based experiences like sports arenas, concerts and interactive mirrors in stores. While My AI is a totally different part of Snap's strategy, the possibilities of intersection are clear.
Generative AI will undoubtedly play an even bigger role in AR and metaverse creation going forward. Roblox introduced its own generative AI into its creative tool sets earlier this year, and Snap looks like it may be planning more of the same.
Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.