TikTok is testing an AI chatbot that can communicate with users about short videos and help them discover content, Israeli AI company Watchful Technologies said, according to Reuters.
Watchful Technologies said it discovered the AI chatbot, called Tako, in the TikTok app on Apple Inc's mobile devices. The company shared screenshots and videos with Reuters that showed the chatbot appearing on the app interface as a ghost-shaped icon that users could tap on while watching a video, hold a text conversation and get help related to the video's content.
For Tako, a TikTok spokesperson said the social media platform is always exploring new technologies. "In select markets, we're testing new ways to improve search and discovery on TikTok and look forward to learning from our community as we continue to build a platform for safety, entertainment, creativity, and cultural leadership. "
In April, US media reported that TikTok was experimenting with a generative AI tool that would allow users to create avatars. IT House noted that a disclosure filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month showed that TikTok had applied for a trademark for "Tako," in a category that included "computer software used to artificially generate human language and text."
Unlike ChatGPT, which is positioned as a general-purpose chatbot, Tako is more of a navigation assistant that encourages users to watch more videos, said Daniel Buchook, a researcher at Watchful Technologies. "So if you ask, 'When will King Charles be crowned? 'Tako will tell you the answer, but you'll also see TikTok videos about it." 'he said.
In another example, Watchful Technologies showed that when a user asks Tako a question, such as "how can we teach kids to respect others," the chatbot responds, summarizing TikTok users' suggestions while also recommending videos.
TikTok has set up a disclaimer stating that Tako is an experimental chatbot and that answers may be inaccurate. The company reviews conversations with Tako for security purposes and warns users not to share private information with it.
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