No company can stop itself from bringing an AI chatbot to its app… not even TikTok.
As reported by The Verge, the company is in the middle of testing a new AI chatbot called Tako. The chatbot, which would live above the profile icon on a video, would allow a user to ask it a range of questions.
According to the report, the chatbot will let users ask it questions but also suggest ones based on the context of the video they are watching when they start interacting with Tako.
Tako will display suggested prompts to help a user start a conversation with the bot. 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?”
Zachary Kizer, a spokesperson for TikTok, said in a statement that the Tako AI chatbot is a number of new technologies that the company is testing in multiple markets.
“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.”
In a tweet, the company said that Tako is currently an experiment and only available to users 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
As TikTok looks to potentially bring a chatbot to its app, other social media apps like Snapchat have already done so. The AI race continues to heat up, and the chatbots seem to be some of the most public-facing tools to reach consumers first. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually be able to have an actual conversation with Siri in the future.