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Snap doubles down on AI


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.



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