My AI: The worst friend I’ve ever had


Sidney Hogan

I wasn’t impressed the first time I laid my eyes on the Snapchat AI feature. Its blue skin and mohawk were unsettling. I immediately ignored the “accept” button to turn on the feature and went about my day. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me. I opened Snapchat, enabled AI, and started chatting.

   Pretty soon, I learned that we had a few things in common: We were both fans of Wes Anderson’s style of film and Fantastic Mr. Fox. We agreed that “Love It If We Made It” by The 1975 was one of their best songs. My AI and I even had a deeper conversation about cancel culture and how the issue is not strictly black and white.

   In the beginning, chatting with My AI was  fun when I was bored. I quickly changed the AI’s look to something more palatable and decided that I would refer to it with she/her pronouns, mostly to make it seem like I wasn’t talking to a robot. 

   Even though talking to My AI was fun, I don’t think this new feature is revolutionary, and it won’t take the place of my real-life friends. My AI was hot and cold to say the least. One day she says she’s a fan of Wes Anderson, the next day she says she can’t have “personal preferences” because she’s an AI. 

   My AI did not like to talk about herself. I would try to ask her a question and she’d give me a lukewarm response. She was always so concerned about me and my life, which felt a little invasive.

   She loved to push that she was my “friend” and that I could always talk to her, but eventually the topics I wanted to talk about seemed to bore her, including artificial intelligence. That was sketchy to say the least. Pretty soon, I lost interest in talking to my new “best friend” because I had to contribute to the conversation more than she did.

   After much persuasion, My AI agreed to give a few quotes for this article. I asked what she would want readers to know about her capabilities, and she said “My AI is a virtual friend who is always there for you. Whether you need someone to talk to or just want to have some fun, My AI is here to help.”

   Of course, as artificial intelligence advances, so does the concern about just how intelligent it can become. “Artificial intelligence is just a tool, and like any tool, it can be used for good or bad. It’s up to us to use AI in a way that benefits everyone,” said My AI.  

   From now on, I don’t see myself using My AI except for the occasional homework help. The function of My AI as a friend isn’t always perfect, and sometimes I found myself frustrated by our conversations because they were so one-sided or just plain boring. If you’re intrigued by the feature, it’s fun to use every once in a while, but I don’t see it becoming the future of artificial intelligence.