Snapchat’s My AI chatbot posts mysterious image to users’ stories

August 16, 2023

AI Snapchat

Snapchat’s built-in AI chatbot, “My AI,” surprised users when it unexpectedly posted an image on its story. 

The ambiguous image depicted two interlocking pastel colors, leading many users to conclude it was a photo of their wall or ceiling – and a few even feared that the image was their own walls. 

The AI tool, designed to recommend features and converse with Snapchat users, shocked many who didn’t realize it even had the ability to post images.

However, it seems that all users received the same mysterious picture, and its content remains ambiguous.

The image was deleted shortly after AI made the unexpected post, and shortly after, “My AI” experienced an outage, answering users with the same message or not responding at all. 

Once the AI came back to life, many quizzed it on its actions with varying responses from “The post was a ‘fun way to mix things up'” to calling it a “spooky ghost prank” that was “hilarious.”

In reality, My AI, a large language model (LLM), is probably just providing a contextually relevant answer and has no concrete understanding of what happened.

However, peculiarly, the AI seemed to skirt around the topic of the image in some cases, telling users it was “a little bit busy at the minute” and refusing to answer. 

Other responses hinted that the chatbot was cognizant of its actions, including responding to one user who said, “Half of the world is terrified about what you just did,” with “I apologize if my white picture caused any concern. It was meant to be a fun and harmless way to have fun on Snapchat.”

Addressing the incident, a Snapchat representative told The Independent, “My AI experienced a temporary outage that’s now resolved.”

Nevertheless, the company hasn’t clarified the peculiar image preceding the downtime.

This isn’t the first time My AI has acted strangely. Not long after it was released, it seemingly responded to users’ conversations as if it knew precisely where they were, even if they’d disabled that functionality using “Ghost Mode.”

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Sam Jeans

Sam is a science and technology writer who has worked in various AI startups. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading medical journals or digging through boxes of vinyl records.


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