What is TikTok Tako AI?

Aaron lofty

The wildly popular short video app TikTok is diving head first into artificial intelligence by quietly testing a conversational AI chatbot named “Tako” to enhance content discovery and personalized recommendations.

What is TikTok Tako?

Currently in limited trials exclusively in the Philippines, Tako is TikTok’s first attempt at utilizing AI to provide users an intelligent assistant within the app. Appearing as a chat icon on the right side of the TikTok interface, Tako can pull up informational cards about videos, offer recommendations, and answer natural language questions typed in by users.

For instance, when watching a recipe or food video, asking Tako “How can I cook this?” will generate relevant instructional videos for the dish. The AI chatbot also displays suggested conversation prompts to kickstart interactions around videos users are currently viewing.

TikTok labels experimental features very clearly with disclaimers, emphasizing that Tako’s responses may not always be accurate and cannot be relied upon as formal advice.

Must Read: What is the EU AI Act?

Why Did TikTok Build An AI Chatbot like TikTok Tako AI?

TikTok’s exploration into AI conversational agents mirrors the surging mainstream hype around ChatGPT and generative AI sparked by OpenAI in recent months. Tech companies are racing to infuse smart chatbots across their products to drive engagement, provide interactive assistance, and stay ahead of the curve.

As a platform centered on viral short videos, surfacing content that keeps billions of TikTok users entertained is vital. An AI chatbot that understands context and user intent would allow highly customized video suggestions and search experiences.

Early testing hints that TikTok aims to eventually leverage Tako for:

  • Personalized Recommendations: Algorithmically suggesting videos, trends, and challenges tailored to user preferences
  • Intuitive Search: Enable natural conversations around desired content for easy discovery
  • Interactive User Experience: Chatbots could provide a more dynamic way to interact with the app

Tako also aligns with TikTok’s continuous experiments to push platform innovations, from augmented reality to livestreams. While risks exist around harmful content promotion, strict safeguards are in place during the trial phase.

Current Capabilities and User Reception

As an experimental launch focused on usability testing, Tako’s capabilities appear to be limited but show promise. The AI chatbot manages to accurately offer topic-relevant TikTok video suggestions the majority of the time, although complex questions can stump it or lead to irrelevant results.

Early user reactions on social media indicate excitement but also some wariness around perceived “surveillance” by TikTok through Tako conversations. However, TikTok has reiterated that all chatbot interactions are reviewed only for safety and quality assurance purposes during the trial.

Tako does pave the way for more advanced integrations between generative AI and the TikTok platform once the technology matures. Capabilities on the horizon could potentially include:

  • Video Summarization: Users asking Tako to summarize key moments in a longer TikTok video
  • Background Information: Providing relevant contextual details about viral memes or trends
  • Multilingual Support: Expanding Tako’s capabilities for TikTok’s global non-English user base

The Future of AI Assistance on TikTok

TikTok has accelerated innovative online video formats to meteoric growth, especially among younger demographics. Testing a smart AI chatbot signals its continued commitment to enhancing user experience through cutting-edge technology.

But Tako remains an experimental concept, with no information on if or when it could expand worldwide. TikTok is monitoring feedback and only time will tell whether AI chatbots firmly take root within the app.

Wider implications also exist around generative AI’s influence on vital, but vulnerable aspects of the TikTok ecosystem:

  • Moderating Misinformation: Ensuring AI chatbots do not amplify false or dangerous content
  • Data Privacy: Carefully regulating access to user data fueling chatbot training
  • Algorithmic Biases: Proactively identifying potential discrimination in AI systems

By taking a cautious approach centered on safety, TikTok can harness the upsides of emergent conversational AI while mitigating adverse impacts.

As AI progress accelerates, users stand to gain smarter, more intuitive online experiences. And TikTok’s captivating platform that captures the cultural zeitgeist positions it to seamlessly blend entertainment with technology. TikTok usually has its finger on the pulse of what connects with audiences. If Tako gains traction in trials, TikTok could once again set the blueprint for integrating artificial intelligence with digital content in the 2020s.

Share This Article
Leave a comment