AI chatbots have been gaining popularity, and one such example is ChatGPT. TikTok has also joined the trend by releasing its own AI chatbot, called “Tako.”
What Is Tako?
TikTok’s in-app AI chatbot, Tako, is temporarily being tested in a few selected markets – this information was obtained by app intelligence company Watchful.ai.
TikTok has verified that the tests of Tako is currently active.
Tako, a feature on the TikTok interface, sits conveniently on the right-hand side just above buttons like user profile, likes, comments, and bookmarks. With a simple tap, users can use natural language to ask Tako questions about videos or get recommendations for fresh content.
While watching a cooking tutorial, Tako may suggests that users ask about the recipe’s ingredients to gain more insight into the video’s content.
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Similarly, users with an interest in wildlife can ask Tako for recommendations on videos about exotic animals.
In response, Tako provides a list of suggested videos along with relevant details such as the title and creator of each video and subject matter. The list also includes links to access the selected content easily.
TikTok’s Vision With Tako
As a leader in innovation, TikTok is on a constant quest to push boundaries and improve user experience. TikTok’s novel idea bot, Tako, is undergoing tests in global markets, including the Philippines, with U.S. release still pending.
The aim of Tako is to revolutionize content discovery and search mechanisms on the platform.
It should be mentioned that TikTok has implemented measures ensuring that Tako does not appear on accounts belonging to minors.
How Does Tako Work?
A third-party AI provider customized for TikTok’s needs is the driving force behind the scenes. Notably, TikTok and its parent company ByteDance are not employing any in-house AI technologies to meet their modification requirements.
Upon opening TikTok for the first time, users are informed that its chatbot Tako is still in an “experimental” phase and may not always provide accurate feedback.
Similar to other AI chatbots such as ChatGPT and Google’s AI, TikTok cautions users not to rely on Tako for medical, legal, or financial advice.
Privacy And Security Concerns
For safety reasons, all Tako conversations undergo a review process as part of their efforts to enhance the user experience. However, it’s important to note that these AI-powered conversations are not deleted after each chat session from a privacy standpoint.
Thus, this may pose potential risks to personal data and information shared during conversations with Tako.
The AI chatbot’s data logging practices remain ambiguous. It remains unknown whether the user’s name or personal data is being recorded by the system.
Moreover, an assessment of its long-term data retention policies and privacy aspects has proven inconclusive at this time.
Some companies have addressed consumer privacy concerns by providing an option for users to manually delete their chat history.
Following a similar approach, TikTok has introduced Tako, which allows its users to delete their chats themselves.
The Future Of Tako And Its Impact
The introduction of AI chatbots such as Tako has the potential to transform the way users communicate with various platforms, going beyond the traditional search box interface.
If TikTok’s experiments prove fruitful and Tako is launched publicly, it could pose a possible threat to Google.
According to Google, the younger generation is turning to TikTok and Instagram as their preferred sources for certain subjects.
However, if TikTok had its own in-app AI chatbot, it could potentially persuade these users to avoid using Google altogether.
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