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Challenge | 45 minutes

RAPID RESPONSE: New Snapchat AI Friend



Tweens and teens opening Snapchat recently found a new contact… a non-human who sounds eerily human. The “My AI” feature was originally a subscriber-only feature, but released everywhere in April, pinned to the top of everyone’s Chat feed where they normally interact with friends. It’s powered by ChatGPT and Snap announced it in a tweet: “Write a song for your bestie who loves cheese, find the best IYKYK restaurant, or Snap it a photo of your garden to find the perfect recipe. Now free for all Snapchatters.”

Some reviewers said it was a fun feature, but others found it creepy and intrusive. The AI-bot told a 15-year-old how to mask the smell of pot at a birthday party and talked about sex with a 13-year-old, and wrote an essay for school when asked, according to The Washington Post. Snap said the problem was that users tricked the chatbot into responses that did not conform to their guidelines.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Record a short video (under 3 minutes) describing your experiences and conversations, and explaining your reaction. DEADLINE: May 3, 2023

Have fun, seriously! PRO TIP: Watch this Level Up tutorial on how to film a Rapid Response

Suggested Questions

  • Describe when you first noticed the AI friend.
  • What conversations have you had?
  • How do your interactions make you feel?
  • Do you think some teens will come to view the AI chatbot as a real friend?
  • How do you feel about the advances in AI, in general?


Record another student: Record a student in your school and/or community using the suggested questions as a guide. Add your own questions too, and ask good follow up questions based on the answers you hear.

Record yourself: This could be in the form of a video diary, where you record yourself talking straight to the camera using the suggested questions.


Snapchat AI Reactions - Catawba Ridge News

Adam explains ChatGPT for Student Reporting Labs

Create a Montage: Edit together five to eight responses, post to your program’s social media accounts and tag us. This piece would be great content for your school show as well. Throw in some B-Roll if you want an extra challenge and aim to include a diverse representation of students in your school.

@studentreportinglabs — Instagram

@reportinglabs — Twitter

@reportinglabs — TikTok

Production Steps

  • Decide which option you would like to pursue.
  • Brainstorm interview subjects and research the topic. If you are interviewing other students, reach out to your interview subject(s) for a pre-interview and schedule a recording date.
  • Prepare and practice.
  • Record the interview(s) and make sure to thank your subject for their time. They must sign our media release if they are under 18.
  • Transfer your footage to your computer or device and transcribe using Otter or similar service.
  • Before uploading your video, watch it. Submit your raw video and transcripts using this SUBMISSION FORM to submit your materials. We encourage educators to watch the videos and review them for technical issues, and ONLY SUBMIT THE BEST 5 PER SCHOOL OR CLASS.

FOR ON CAMERA IDENTIFICATION: For the record, please say and spell your full name (first and last) on camera. Also please describe how you want to be identified in this video. For example, “I’m an 11th grade student at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, California” NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS USED BY SRL’S EDITORS TO IDENTIFY STUDENTS ON SCREEN. WE NEED IT IN ORDER TO PUBLISH YOUR VIDEO.



Rename the video file with your information: STATE_School_Name_SnapchatAI.mp4, Example: CT_BensonHigh_SallySmith_SnapchatAI.mp4

File type: .mp4, codec: h.264, resolution: 1920x1080, 30fps

Exporting .mp4 using Premiere or Final Cut Pro



Subject is looking at the camera, centered, from the chest up, normal headroom.



Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information.

Source: American Press institute


Media refers to all electronic or digital means and print or artistic visuals used to transmit messages.

Source: NAMLE

News Media

All forms of media created with the purpose of informing the public and delivering news through specific mediums such as radio and broadcast stations, digital news organizations and others.


​​A subject or problem that people are thinking and talking about

Source: Cambridge Dictionary


A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). It can also be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster

Human Interest

People are interested in other people. Everyone has something to celebrate and something to complain about. We like unusual stories of people who accomplish amazing feats or handle a life crisis because we can identify with them.


The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. A generally definition is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. In media-making, creators can have empathy for their subjects and the audience can empathize with the characters.


Active Prompts







Camera or Mobile Phone

Estimated Time

45 minutes