Snapchat embraces AI to make it more accessible to students
Snapchat is following Open AI’s lead and introducing its own artificial intelligence chatbot. In 2022 alone, 39% of 6th-8th grade students and 74% of 9th-12th grade students used Snapchat weekly. So the chances that students will use Snapchat’s AI chatbot are pretty high. Oh, and did we mention that Snapchat’s AI chatbot is powered by ChatGPT itself?
Who are the key players?
Before we dive in, what even is Snapchat? Snapchat is an easy way for students to communicate with one another through photos, direct messaging, and Snapchat ‘stories’.
And what/who is OpenAI? OpenAI is the company that recently launched ChatGPT, which has been all the rave since it came out in late 2022. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) bot that acts in a conversational way. Picture the search engine Google, except you’re having a conversation with AI.
What does this have to do with my students?
Snapchat is leaning into AI and partnering with ChatGPT to launch its own in-app chatbot called “My AI,” giving students even more access to AI chatbots. As digital natives, students grew up in an era where AI is all around them, from social media apps’ algorithms to navigation systems like Waze. However, Snapchat is one of the first social media platforms to embed an AI chatbot within the app.
What you need to know about My AI:
- My AI will initially only become available to Snapchat Plus users, who pay $3.99 a month to access premium Snapchat features.
- Snapchat wants to make My AI available to ALL Snapchat users eventually
Snapchat’s My AI vs. Open AI’s ChatGPT
While My AI is powered by Open AI’s version of ChatGPT, they won’t function exactly the same.
The differences between the two AI chatbots:
- My AI is limited in what it can answer, whereas ChatGPT can answer most questions
- My AI has been trained by Snapchat not to give any responses that go against its trust and safety guidelines (no cursing, violence, explicit content, or opinions about politics)
- My AI will decline requests that are related to creating school content such as writing academic essays
- My AI is meant to act as another ”person” to talk to, not as a productivity tool
Whether students realize it or not, they interact with AI on a near-daily basis. Once Snapchat releases My AI, some students may feel left out if they don’t subscribe to Snapchat Plus or don’t have Snapchat at all.
You can help your students navigate that FOMO (the fear of missing out) by reminding them that My AI is essentially the same chatbot as ChatGPT (which is free to use), except My AI is much more limited in what it can answer.
As students navigate their worlds online and offline, they typically run into scenarios where they feel the need to stay up to date on the newest social media apps and features. And while social media is a powerful tool for students to connect with their friends, family, and others around the world, everyone has different experiences with which apps and platforms they use.
Educators can equip students to handle the pressure of wanting to access My AI by remembering that it is okay not to have access to every social media platform or new feature. But how can they be reminded of this? Easy. By hearing it from the people who see them weekly: Their teachers and educators.
Here are some tips to help students handle the pressure:
- Rise above FOMO: Help reduce FOMO by being mindful of where you are in the present moment and accepting that we can’t be in two places at once
- Take advantage of device features and apps: Balance how often you’re on different apps, so you don’t feel pressured to always be connected
- Set healthy boundaries: Let your friends and family know when you’re not able to respond or are busy
If you’re interested in learning even more about how students are already using AI through ChatGPT, check out our blog post here.
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The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.