AI can reduce barriers to creativity: Snap CEO Evan Spiegel

Artificial intelligence (AI) can reduce the barrier to creativity for developers and creators, Evan Spiegel, cofounder and CEO of photo messaging platform Snap Inc, said Monday at the company’s APAC AR Day event, where he discussed the substantial investments that the platform has been making in the technology.

“One of the things that we found early on with augmented reality (AR) was it is very hard to generate 3D assets as it takes someone a really long period of time to build all those 3D assets. So, how can we use AI to actually reduce the barrier of creation for those assets? That is something we’ve been investing a lot recently to make it easier for creators to build more immersive AR experiences,” Spiegel said during a fireside chat with Snap Inc Asia Pacific president Ajit Mohan at an event held in Mumbai.

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Also read | Snap India doubled user base, engagement in 2022: CEO Evan Spiegel

Spiegel also emphasised the role that AI is expected to play in image and video creation. He said AI has the potential to bridge the gap between the creative visions that individuals have and the capabilities of their mobile devices.

“I think all of us have a vision in our minds for what we want to create. But often, the tools just aren’t sophisticated enough for us to be able to make the image, or the video, or the AR experience. I think AI will help reduce the distance between what’s in your imagination and what you can create on your phone or with AR glasses,” Spiegel said.

Underscoring the growing significance of chatbots as tools for interacting with language models and AI, he emphasised their potential for enhancing creativity in the realm of augmented reality.

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“I think chatbots are going to be an important way for people to use language models and to interact with AI, and I am more excited for what AI is going to do for self-expression and creativity for our camera with augmented reality,” the Snap CEO said.

Snap in IndiaETtech

The company’s executives during the event added that its AR community in India grew by 60% in 2022, with Snap’s AR lenses being used over 50 billion times per month. India has over 200 million users of Snapchat, with nearly 80% of them using the app’s AR lenses on a daily basis, the company said.

During an interaction with ET, Resh Sidhu, global director of Arcadia — Snap Inc’s creative digital studio that creates AR with solutions — said India has always been at the forefront of technology and the access to mobile phones has transformed it.

“The Indian market is responding to Snapchat and AR as we have an engaged audience of 18 to 24 years old. AR is like a second language to them. They are understanding it and using it,” she said.

She also spoke about the generative AI feature, Dreams by Snapchat, which is using AI to create different kinds of avatars and versions of users based on the selfies they submit. “Our team is using AI, AR and machine learning together to create lenses as believable as possible and you are going to see a huge surge of AR, and AI being used together.”

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