It is chatbot season, AI Chatbots like the ChatGPT are coming up on different platforms. With Snapchat’s MyAI taking off, TikTok is not left behind in the ‘bot race’ as it is now testing its own AI chatbot called Tako.
The bot, still in its testing phase is not public yet, limited to select global markets including a limited test in the Philippines, TikTok confirmed in a tweet this week.
“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.”
Tako is seen on the TikTok interface as a bot icon on the right hand side above the user’s profile and the other tabs for likes, share, comment and bookmarks.
Users get to ask Tako questions about the video being watched by tapping the icon and imputing their search queries in natural language. Users in search of new content can also ask for recommendations.
Tako can also suggest videos on a specific topic for users who need ideas on what to watch.
For example, a user can ask for videos on “cooking skills” and Tako would respond with a list of videos that include the search phrase or subject or author, with links to the suggested videos.
On first launch, a disclaimer message pops up, warning users that Tako’s feedback may not be accurate or true as the bit is still considered experimental.
TikTok stresses that users should not rely on the bot for medical, legal or financial advice. Users are also pre informed that their conversations with Tako will be reviewed for safety and enhancement of users experience.
As seen from a TikTok screenshot by the app intelligence firm Watchful.ai , the popup message titled “About Talking To Tako” reads; “Tako is an experimental chatbot. It can answer questions and have conversations with you.
Feedback from Tako is AI generated and may not be true or accurate, so it should not be relied upon as advice on medical, legal, financial, etc. All conversations will be reviewed for safety purposes and to enhance your experience. Please do not share your private information with Tako”
Unlike most other platforms in launching their AI Chatbots, TikTok is leveraging an unknown third-party AI provider customized for its needs and modifications. Tako will not include the use of any in-house AI technologies from TikTok or from its parent company ByteDance and will not be on minors’ accounts.