TikTok Tako is a new AI chatbot that could “radically change search and navigation” in the app.
News of the test was first reported by Daniel Buchuk of Watchful Technologies.
Buchuk shared screenshots of the AI chatbot. Tako sits above the TikTok profile icon, towards the top-right corner of videos. One tap on the icon opens up a chat screen where the AI bot. TikTok explains that Tako can “answer questions, and have a conversation with you.”
Like any AI chatbot, Tako will kickstart the conversation with suggested prompts. It is unclear which AI framework TikTok uses for Tako.
“Tako is powered by a third-party chat assistant and is designed to help make it easier to discover entertaining and inspiring content on TikTok.”
According to Buchuk, “If I’m watching food videos and ask for a recipe I’ll get related TikTok videos for the recipe, or if I ask for good art exhibitions in Paris it’ll show videos alongside a list of suggestions in the answer.” A prompt suggested by Tako in one screenshot says, “What is the significance of King Charles III’s coronation?”
When asked, a spokesperson for TikTok, Zachary Kizer, called the chatbot “a limited experiment” and added that it isn’t currently available to users in North America or Europe. In a tweet, the company said the test is only in the Philippines.
1/ We're in the early stages of exploring chatbot tools with a limited test of Tako with select users in the Philippines. Tako is an AI-powered tool to help with search and discovery on TikTok.
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) May 25, 2023
“We’re always exploring new technologies that add value to our community,” he said in an emailed statement to The Verge. “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.”
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