Snapchat’s new text bot “My AI” has made AI available to everyone, even the youngest users.
The text bot works so that you can ask the questions you’re wondering about, like where the nearest grocery store is, or when the sun goes down. Then you get an answer generated by statistical algorithms.
Snapchat will soon start advertising in the text bot. Businesses can then pay for My AI to recommend their products and send links to users.
company He writes They are experimenting with how “My AI” can provide “useful, timely information” in their conversations.
– This means early testing of sponsored links. This way we can connect users with conversational partners in the blink of an eye. At the same time, we help our partners reach users (Snapchat users, journal note), who have shown interest in what they’re selling.
– Back to the future
Finn Myrstad is a specialist director for digital services at the Norwegian Consumer Council. He is particularly interested in how young users are affected by advertising in a text bot.
– “Venen” is available around the clock and will answer you promptly. The answers are adapted to each individual, so children and young adults can easily be hooked on the script bot. Then users become more vulnerable and more easily manipulated, he says.
Myrstad thinks it’s odd that Snapchat would start with paid links, at the same time the European Union is working on new regulations for ads aimed at children.
– One must be careful with such propaganda. Snapchat plans large, automated marketing targeting children, which would be made illegal by new rules from the European Union. Snapchat seems to be heading backwards into the future, says Myrstad.
From the talking machine to the seller
Leonora Onarheim Bergsu, associate professor at the University of Agder, specializes in the relationship between new technology and ethics.
She is highly critical of the Snapchat text bot that is finally providing paid answers to its users.
– Chatbots until now were chat machines, which will now also become sellers. They sell products to children and adults in situations where they may need confidence rather than advertising.
Snapchat’s North End public relations and communications director Lotus Hedbrow wrote in an email that Snapchat is in the beginning of testing sponsored links in chat with “My Ai.”
Furthermore, Hedebroe writes that Snapchat is developing a new system, where the chatbot takes into account the age of the user.
Snapchat has also introduced a function that lets parents know if their teens talk to “My AI,” and how often they do so.
– We are constantly working to decide on local rules and requirements, especially as the AI landscape is rapidly evolving, and we will continue to adapt to local legal requirements, Hedebroe writes.
In a presentation earlier this year, Snapchat said the company is constantly working to ensure the safety of users.
Should limit its use
Finn Myrstad, of the Consumer Council, believes parents should clearly communicate to their children that “my AI” and other text bots don’t provide answers based on feelings, but rather on algorithms.
– Provides auto-generated answers based on statistical algorithms and is at best good entertainment, but at worst a source of misinformation and bad advice. I would tell the kids that they should limit their use, and use the text bot only for light entertainment.
Snapchat did not respond to NRK’s question about when sponsored links will be introduced.
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