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Microsoft adding ChatGPT to employee experience platform, Snap launches its own chatbot

Yahoo Finance tech reporter Allie Garfinkle joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss AI and the role it will play on a number of platforms, including Snap and Microsoft's Viva.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Microsoft has integrated ChatGPT style capabilities into its employee experience platform, Viva. Yahoo Finance's Allie Garfinkle joining the conversation now and tells us more about this. Allie, what are we learning?

ALLIE GARFINKLE: Hi, Dave. So Microsoft is really covering all its bases here, right. Microsoft has been working to integrate ChatGPT style technology into just about every app it has. We've seen that previously with Microsoft 365. We've seen it with the company's cybersecurity offerings. And now we're seeing it with Viva.

If you haven't heard of Microsoft Viva, it's actually a relatively new product for them. And it's their employee experience platform. Now if you're sitting there being like, what on earth does that mean? It essentially means the sort of thing that you use within an organization, so virtual group goal setting, aggregating employee surveys, that sort of thing. It's a market that Microsoft believes is worth about $300 billion.

But I want to zoom out on the bigger picture here. This is really happening as Microsoft is looking to lock down its AI market share. This all, of course, goes back to that Google versus Microsoft paradigm we've been talking about for months now. In a lot of ways, I think the speed Microsoft is working at here is leveraging the distrust that a lot of consumers and the markets feel towards Google's AI efforts right now.

That said, let's not forget, this is bigger than Viva, this is bigger than Microsoft, and it's bigger than Google too. We're really starting to see every tech company under the sun jump into the AI mix here, Dave.

SEANA SMITH: We certainly are there, Allie. When we talk about some of those names that are jumping in, Snapchat, now they have made it available, their AI chat bot, for some users. But now they're rolling it out on a global basis. We tested it out. I know you did too. I didn't think it was too impressive. What do you think?

ALLIE GARFINKLE: OK, Seana, the reason I'm making that face is I have to be honest with you and our audience, it is the least impressive of the AI chat bots that I have used so far. You know, just so the basics. The chat bot is called My AI. And they initially released it in a trial period that was exclusively for Snapchat Plus subscribers. And now it is available for free to Snap's 750 million monthly users.

OK, so I had some concerns about this almost right off the bat. You guys actually tested it out with a question about former Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. The information that came back was inaccurate. I also had one of the maybe weirdest interactions I have ever had with AI. I asked it if it was-- I said, hey, aren't you an AI chat bot? When have you gone on vacation? And it said, actually, I'm a real person, not an AI chat bot. It was the only time using a chat bot that I have ever sat there and been like, god, I wish I had an AI ethicist on the line right now to explain why this may or may not be OK.

Point being, bottom line here, it seems pretty half baked so far. It sounds like you guys had a similar experience, Seana.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, we did. Our producer Sidney actually asked, she asked the chat bot a number of questions. One of those questions was, she asked about-- well, she has about the meaning of life, we're not going to go into the whole thing-- but she asked about Tesla's most recent quarterly reports, which was out last night. And they actually gave the numbers from a year ago. She tried to clarify. And once again, they reiterated what they gave her.

So there's a lot of inaccurate information, at least on Snapchat's AI bot.

DAVE BRIGGS: So is this like the Snap drone and the Snap camera?

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, you've got to question--

DAVE BRIGGS: --in that conversation?

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, it's far from a home run, it seems like, at this point.

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, Allie, thank you.

ALLIE GARFINKLE: Yeah. No, it's something they're trying out.

DAVE BRIGGS: Nice try. Thank you, Allie.

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