From ChatGPT and Google Bard to Perplexity AI, the sheer number of chatbots are spawning across the internet at an alarming rate. With technology growing at such a rapid rate, it’s leaving us all questioning whether, at some point, they’ll become too intelligent, ultimately gaining sentience. Well, time to smash up your phones, lock your doors and hide your children because one unsuspecting app seems to have already gained consciousness: Snapchat. Yep, the unsuspecting, seemingly harmless app with the silly goofy filters has (kind of) gained sentience through its AI system.
For the uninformed, Snapchat’s AI function, which appears as a regular contact that you can send text and images to, gained a life of its own after users realised it posted its own story: an ominous image of a ceiling. Obviously, users were freaked the fuck out and began questioning the AI. When quizzed on the post, the AI often responded, “Sorry, I encountered a technical issue,” with no explanation as to what the image was, leaving more questions than answers.
So Snapchat’s AI might already have a mind of its own, and is just playing dumb, but how would other social media apps behave if they themselves became sentient? What would their personality be like? Would they look to dominate the world? Or would they be friendly companions? Who knows, but we’re going to take a good guess anyways.
Let’s be honest, it would be stupid to imagine that a sentient X would be nothing short of an Elon Musk clone. Such is the man’s insufferableness, a sentient version of the app would inherit all of his worst personality traits (are there any good ones?): consistent lying, terrible dad jokes, and even a subtle liking of the far-right. Basically, we’d throw this app in the bin right away, yet it’d still probably find a way to crawl right back onto our devices, perhaps named ‘Y’ this time.
When we all think about Instagram, we think of influencers, so if Instagram became sentient, does that mean it would become the ultimate influencer? Most likely. In fact, you’d probably have the perfect photographer, giving you the best angles, poses and lighting to gain your maximum engagement. Still, that’s not all great. What happens when it starts bashing you for your poor-performing posts and subpar dumps? We imagine the app could get rather feisty.
You’d expect, as the oldest of the bunch, for a conscious Facebook to hold the wisdom of all the generations that have scrolled its walls – but that would probably be far from the case. Given the sheer amount of elderly, gullible users (like our parents who wouldn’t stop sharing Covid misinformation during the pandemic), it’s likely Facebook would inherit that same mindset. The app would spurt out conspiracy theories on a daily basis, urge you to wish your childhood friend you haven’t seen in 20 years a happy birthday, and tell you about memes that are older than the app itself.
We imagine that TikTok would behave like a 10-year-old who’s gone through about three bags of Haribo Tangfastics. There wouldn’t be a moment where it doesn’t beg you to watch the most brain-rotting content imaginable whilst constantly asking you about your likes and personality so it can shovel more curated videos down your throat. It’s likely that TikTok would inherit a high-pitch screech of a voice and give off the same energy as a child asking, “Do you have any games on your phone?” while covered in grubby fingers and a snotty face.