My Friend Is a Bot: AI Tech Sweeps the Nation


Photo by Cash Macanaya on Unsplash

Technology – specifically, the use of artificial intelligence (AI), a simulation of human intelligence, is becoming increasingly advanced and will soon permeate  everyday lives. AI is created by humans and includes expert systems of natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine learning. Already, AI is responsible for breakthroughs in medical research, climate change, and self-driving cars, according to Forbes magazine ( AI is on the rise, leaving society at a crossroads; is AI a benefit to society, or will it lead to its detriment?

In the business field, AI can make it easier for businesses to identify problems and improve recruitment, cybersecurity, marketing, and operating processes. It can process copious amounts of data and execute complex algorithms. AI is only gaining intelligence, which proves to be a great advantage all whilst stimulating fear amongst the masses. 

AI is created and developed by humans, making it far unlikely that AI will become advanced enough to cause global destruction. It is believed that AI cannot replace humans but enhance their lives and benefit society. AP English Language and Composition Teacher Jill Garfunkel commented, “I think like all new technology, it has the potential for great good or potential destruction.  If students use AI to plagiarize and to avoid the thinking process that is used when writing, society as a whole might suffer. I hope to learn how to use it and to teach my students how to use it as a starting point, not as a final product. For example, it can help when doing research for papers by outlining interesting points, but it is up to the student to do further research and to go into more depth and make their own connections. Students should then actually think and write about it and make it their own. If taught and used correctly (kind of as a springboard for thought), I think it will be very useful.”

Recently, the worldwide social media platform, Snapchat, added an AI feature and distributed it to all users. The addition is called My AI Chatbot, and its purpose is to serve as a potential “friend” for users. The feature is powered by chatbot tool ChatGPT and can offer recommendations, answer questions, and converse with users, according to CNN Business ( Users can customize the chatbot’s name, avatar, and other facets to make it appear more “humanlike.” Snapchat added this feature to make users feel as if they were talking to another person, not a computer. 

The My AI Chatbot is appealing to users as it responds instantaneously to any question users have and can offer emotional advice. Although there are benefits, the technology is a trial feature, and the algorithm is not finalized. “We’re constantly working to improve and evolve My AI, but it’s possible My AI’s responses may include biased, incorrect, harmful, or misleading content. Because My AI is an evolving feature, you should always independently check answers provided by My AI before relying on any advice, and you should not share confidential or sensitive information,” said the Snapchat website ( Snapchat argues that if users adhere to this, then the Chatbot is harmless; they also have a feature to get rid of the Chatbot entirely if users are completely opposed to it. 

Junior Eliza Fucci shares her opinion on the My AI feature. She has mixed feelings about the device and thinks that “something could go wrong” if it is used in an extreme way. She said, “I like the AI for a number of reasons. I think it is convenient because it answers right away if you need a quick answer to a question or need information. But I think it could get out of hand if teenagers depend on it. There needs to be a strict line between using the Chatbot in the way it is intended and using it as a friend. People still need human contact; they cannot depend on an algorithm.” Junior Alayna Matern disagreed and expanded, “I personally think this new feature is terrifying. It is extremely humanlike, and I think it has the potential to be dangerous. I personally removed it from my Snapchat because I couldn’t stand it anymore. I think Snapchat took this feature to the extreme,” she said. 

My AI Chatbot, Chat GPT, and more are just the beginning of the popularization of artificial intelligence. These human-created applications continue to become more advanced, and only the future holds what the effects of AI will be. Society will eventually need to adapt to the new species being integrated into everyday life. What is next for AI?