TikTok confirms testing of its own artificial intelligence chatbot Tako, which is currently undergoing limited testing with select users in the Philippines.
Artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT are all the rage right now, so it’s no surprise that another tech company is introducing its latest offering. TikTok has confirmed that it is in the early stages of testing its own chatbot with artificial intelligence called “Taco”.
The bot is undergoing limited testing in some markets, including the Philippines. TikTok says that the current version of the bot has not yet been publicly available in the US, but news about the bot was initially discovered during public tests on iOS devices in the US by the company Watchful.ai .
Tako appears on the right side of the TikTok interface, above the user profile and other buttons — prominently displayed for users with access, indicating that TikTok wants you to notice and use the bot and make it an integral part of the TikTok experience. . When clicked, users can ask Taco questions about the current video or discover new content by requesting recommendations.
“Being at the forefront of innovation is the foundation for creating TikTok experiences, and we are always exploring new technologies that add value to our community,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “In some markets, we are testing new ways of finding and discovering in TikTok, and we look forward to learning from our community while continuing to create a safe place that entertains, inspires creativity and develops culture.”
Tako should also not appear in the accounts of minors — probably to mitigate the negative reaction to the fact that TikTok reports that it will review all logs of conversations with the bot for security purposes and “to improve your experience.” Naturally, because of how new these technologies are, companies often log customer interactions and review them to help improve bots and, apparently, to make sure that nothing criminal is going on.
TikTok allows users to manually delete their chats with the bot, but it is not known whether this is just a calming function and whether conversations are registered for access on the company’s side. In addition, it is necessary to clarify whether the AI platform used to create Tako, developed by a third-party company and licensed for TikTok, registers data associated with the user’s name or any other personal information. Any long-term data retention policies or privacy aspects of the project have not yet been disclosed.
“Behind the scenes, TikTok uses an unknown third—party artificial intelligence provider that TikTok has customized for its needs,” TechCrunch explains. “This modification does not include the use of any proprietary artificial intelligence technologies from TikTok or parent company ByteDance.”
While most tech companies are experimenting with artificial intelligence in one form or another, the TikTok chatbot aims to do more than just answer questions about videos, which opens up new ways for users to display additional content in the app. With Generation Z increasingly turning to TikTok as the first place they search for information, the public rollout of the TikTok chatbot could start a Google lunch by encouraging younger users not to use the search engine.