Snap Inc. deepened its push into AI and AR on Wednesday, the latest tech company to go all-in on the industry’s hottest technology.
Headlining the news at its annual partner summit, Snap SNAP, -0.54% said its artificial intelligence chatbot will now be able to respond to users’ messages with a fully AI-generated image as the company attempts to accelerate development of augmented reality (AR) features.
The company’s chatbot, called My AI, was built using startup OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology. Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.03% is a major investor in OpenAI.
According to Snap, My AI is now free to all Snapchat users. The chatbot was first rolled out to users who pay $3.99 a month for the company’s premium subscription Snapchat+, which now has more than 3 million users. The company had announced 2.5 million users in February.
Snap also launched an AR Mirror product for retailers that lets customers immediately — and digitally — try on products in AR within the store.
“Snap continues to impress us with its product innovation prowess,” Evercore ISI analyst Mark Mahaney said in a note late Wednesday. “The key focus for us remains whether Snap can sustainably grow its user engagement and recover some of the signal loss from [Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +0.70% ] ATT [App Tracking Transparency] to improve targeting and monetization.”
Snap is scheduled to announce quarterly results on April 27. Its stock, which is up 23% so far this year, was flat during Wednesday’s regular session.