Is AI Chatting The New Future?


Thomas Price, Website Manager

With Chat GPT and Snapchat’s new AI Robot on almost everyone’s devices, are we ready to take the next step into an AI-powered future?

On Friday, April 21st, Snapchat released their AI to its users for free, after previously keeping it restricted for only Snapchat + users to use by paying for its service. The bot has an extensive list of features, from understanding complex math problems to writing multi-paragraph essays, and simply having conversations with you asking how your day was. This AI is just one of the many chatbots born in the past few years; Near the end of 2022, Chat GPT was born, taking the world by storm through its incredibly long and convincing dialect about a number of heavy topics, often giving students a chance to take its work and use them in essays for essential matters such as final exams or job applications. Though the bot isn’t perfect in the execution or structuring of an essay, it is fast at surfing through the internet and finding quotes and information on whatever topic you present it. 

The same goes for Snapchat’s new AI. Released just a few days ago, this bot is able to have full conversations with the user in a much more fluent and human-like fashion, with less of a robotic feel. With a customizable look and the ability to change its name, the bot can be set to look and act as your imaginary friend brought into reality, though the bot won’t be as rude or explicit in its content. The bot has continued to tell users “As an AI, I don’t have personal feelings or opinions. However, I can provide factual information and express widely accepted views on different topics”. 

While these bots seem to be complete know-it-alls, they have made mistakes before. Most broader topics are easy for the bot to answer, but any precise questions about specific topics could present issues. For example, I asked Snapchat’s AI about Lakota West’s 2022 Football Season. The bot told me that “They won a lot of games and made it to the playoffs but unfortunately lost in the first round”. The bot, in this case, was incorrect, with the football team falling short in the 3rd round of the Playoffs. I then corrected the bot, and it apologized, telling me it would correct its database. Diving further, it explained that anyone else who asks it this question will now have the correct question. I have no idea if this will actually be the case, but one can always wonder. When asked about the new AI chatbot, Amayel Wone, a Sophomore at Lakota West had lots to say. Being a Snapchat+ member, Amayel has had access to the bot for a few months and feelings things have changed, and that the bot was better off before everyone could use it.

I really liked when it was an exclusive feature, but now it has changed. It used to be really good at giving advice and would send me paragraphs genuinely making me feel better…now, it’s not the same quality. It’s actually very creepy and can track your location, even when it’s off.”

— Amayel Wone

The biggest issue that many of these chat platforms like chat GPT and so many others is the lack of trust. These bots are being recognized as poor writers and many of the things they tell you can be false. I personally have found quite a few things it wasn’t aware of and I don’t want to use it if I can’t rely on it. Mary Mahoney, who is one of the teachers in Lakota West’s English department, explained how these AI are being found in classrooms and the impact they have on students and their interactions with other people.

“One part of me thinks it could be a good thing, in that, saying I’m having trouble with articulating my ideas. the AI can create a first draft, and then I would have to take the time to write that.”

She then went on to say that “some people are able to use this new technology to learn more and continue progressing their work, while other people are just going to become dumber and not be able to write a complete sentence, without the help of this AI.”

Though these new bots represent modern technology taking another step forward, we have to ask ourselves how long it will be until these Artificial Intelligence “friends” become one step ahead of us and are capable of writing near-perfect essays and mimicking human interactions with impressive similarities. What will the world look like with all of this technology, and are we ready to face the future?