TikTok’s ‘Tako’ AI Chatbot Runs Exclusive Tests in the Philippines

TikTok’s ‘Tako’ AI Chatbot Runs Exclusive Tests in the Philippines

TikTok recently announced that it is currently testing a new chatbot feature called “Tako” in the Philippines. 

What is ‘Tako’?

As first reported by Reuters, the ‘Tako’ chatbot aims to enhance the user experience by providing personalized recommendations and assisting users in discovering entertaining and inspiring content on the app.

The development of Tako comes in the wake of OpenAI’s successful launch of ChatGPT, an advanced chatbot powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI). This latest tech trend ushered a wave of companies rushing to integrate the feature into their applications.

TikTok’s rival, Snap Inc, has also recently ventured into the AI space with its chatbot, “My AI,” which is based on ChatGPT technology.

Discovering TikTok’s Tako

Watchful Technologies, an Israeli-based app intelligence firm, recently discovered Tako on specific versions of the TikTok app for Apple mobile devices. 

Screenshots and videos posted by Watchful revealed Tako’s presence as a ghost-shaped icon on TikTok’s interface. According to the firm, “TikTok’s ability to leverage AI as a tool to navigate and discover relevant content sets it apart (from other AI tools).”

Users can engage in text-based conversations with Tako by tapping on the icon while watching videos, allowing them to seek assistance and engage with the chatbot’s features.

TikTok’s Venture Into AI

According to leaks spotted in April, TikTok also tested generative AI tools for avatar creation. 

TikTok recently filed a disclosure with the U.S. patent and trademark office, indicating its application for a trademark related to “TikTok Tako.” 

In March, TikTok introduced new community standards to make the service secure for all users. The company has updated the standards to include new policies on artificial intelligence (AI) and climate disinformation to make them more accessible. 

Why TikTok Chose Philippines for Testing

When asked about Tako, Reuters tells us that a TikTok spokesperson expressed the company’s ongoing commitment to exploring new technologies. 

The spokesperson emphasized the importance of creating a safe environment that entertains, inspires creativity, and drives culture. 

Read Also: #TechTimesLifeHack: TikTok Tips for Beginners That Will Help You Become an Expert [2023]

However, TikTok did not provide specific reasons for selecting the Philippines as the testing ground for Tako.

It is important to note that the Philippines is one of the biggest TikTok markets in the world, with more than 43 million active users in early 2023, according to figures published by ByteDance and shared by DataReportal.

More Details

Watchful Technologies researcher Daniel Buchuk tells Reuters that his team discovered references to Tako on specific versions of the TikTok app, including a test version on an iOS device in the United States. 

Buchuk explained that Tako differs from ChatGPT because it functions more like a navigation assistant, encouraging users to watch more videos on the platform. 

TikTok has implemented a disclaimer stating that Tako is an experimental chatbot, and its responses may not always be accurate. 

The company has assured users that conversations with Tako will be reviewed for safety purposes and cautioned against sharing private information with the chatbot.

Stay posted here at Tech Times.

Related Article: TikTok CEO Claims Children Below 13 Have Restrictive Content, Promotes Family Pairing


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