TikTok AI chatbot “Tako” help users discover more interesting videos

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It comes as no surprise that TikTok is currently exploring its own AI chatbot given the popularity of chatbots like ChatGPT. The “Tako” bot has begun limited testing in a few regions. It will be visible above the user’s profile and other buttons for likes, comments, and bookmarks on the right side of the TikTok interface. When pressed, viewers may use natural language questions to ask Tako a variety of questions about the video or seek options for fresh content.

If viewers need options for videos to watch, they could ask Tako to point out some on a specific subject, such as “Arsenal Goals”. The bot would reply with a list of results that will include the title, creator, and topic of the video as well as links to further related videos. You might go to the content of a video by clicking on its thumbnail from this point.

Tako is not in testing in the U.S.

Watchful.ai, an app intelligence company, spotted the public testing of this bot and TikTok has since confirmed the testing. A TikTok spokesman told TechCrunch

“Being at the forefront of innovation is core to building the TikTok experience, and we’re always exploring new technologies that add value to our community … In select markets, we’re testing new ways to power search and discovery on TikTok, and we look forward to learning from our community as we continue to create a safe place that entertains, inspires creativity and drives culture.”

TikTok AI Chatbot

Although Watchful.ai claims to have found the AI chatbot in tests on iOS devices in the United States, TikTok claims that the bot right now is not available in the United States but is being tested in other nations, including an early limited test in the Philippines.

There are also reports from TechCrunch that kids’ accounts will not have this bot. Behind the scenes, TikTok uses an unnamed third – party AI service provider that TikTok customed to its needs. No internal AI tech from TikTok or its parent company ByteDance was used in that change.

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Tako is still in the testing

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In a pop-up window that appears when Tako first starts up, TikTok informs users that Tako remains “experimental”. The warning also states that Tako’s input “may not be true or accurate”. This warning is shared by other current AI chatbots, including OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s AI, among others. In addition, TikTok stresses that users should not rely on the chatbot for financial, legal, or medical advice.

TikTok AI Chatbot


Also, it is stated in the notice that all Tako chats would be checked for safety reasons and, inexplicably, to “enhance your experience”. Sadly, this is one of the issues linked to using modern AI chatbots. The tech is so new, therefore firms are choosing to record and analyse user chats. The main reason for doing this is to help their bots get better. However, that implies the AI conversations are not being wiped out when they end, which creates possible privacy risks.

AI privacy issues and risks

A few brands have dealt with this user privacy issue by providing a manual chat deletion feature. This is what Snap does with its My AI chatbot companion in the Snapchat app. With Tako, TikTok uses a similar strategy because it too enables users to wipe their chat history. However, it’s not clear if the chatbot is logging data linked to the user’s name or any other private info.

Some firms have banned AI chatbots at work due to security issues. Apple has gone so far as to forbid staff from using tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Microsoft – owned GitHub’s Copilot. This ban is out of worry that sensitive info will be leaked. Banks like Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan also use the same method. Tech giants like Walmart, Samsung, and telecom behemoth Verizon, are among others who have adopted similar bans.

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