TikTok is reportedly testing an AI chatbot named ‘Tako,’ aiming to enhance the user experience on the platform, according to a report by TechCrunch. The chatbot, which is reminiscent of ChatGPT, is designed to answer user queries about videos and recommend new content based on natural language queries.
As per TechCrunch’s report, the chatbot is being tested in select markets, including a limited test in the Philippines. It appears on the right-hand side of the TikTok interface, above the user’s profile and other buttons for likes, comments, and bookmarks. When tapped, users can ask Tako various questions about the video or ask for recommendations.
TikTok’s move to test an AI chatbot comes as AI technologies like ChatGPT gain popularity across various industries. TechCrunch says that the chatbot was discovered during public testing by app intelligence firm Watchful and that TikTok has confirmed the tests are now live.
A TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch, “Being at the forefront of innovation is core to building the TikTok experience, and we’re always exploring new technologies that add value to our community.”
However, the chatbot is not currently public in the U.S. and will not appear on minors’ accounts. The TechCrunch report mentions that TikTok is leveraging an unknown third-party AI provider that TikTok has customized for its needs without using any in-house AI technologies from TikTok or its parent company ByteDance.