In addition to pulling relevant information that an internet-connected AI companion does, Tako is still very much a TikTok product. As such, it will help users find more videos of the kind they are already watching, if they ask the AI bot to do so. TikTok appears to be pushing Tako as a way to further fine-tune the videos you are recommended based on your interests, instead of scrolling past an endless feed of algorithmically-curated videos.
Notably, TikTok will keep the bot away from accounts belonging to minors, likely as a safety measure because AI-generated answers can occasionally be disturbing or downright inaccurate, and there’s a healthy precedent for that out there. With those drawbacks in mind, TikTok warns users that Tako’s answers might not always be accurate and that users shouldn’t rely on it for medical, financial, or legal advice. According to TechCrunch, TikTok will let users delete their conversation history with Tako.
Interestingly, TikTok appears to be outsourcing Tako’s AI tech to a third-party partner, instead of using its own in-house AI. It isn’t hard to imagine why ByteDance would want to steer clear of OpenAI’s GPT model, given the current state of trade tensions between the U.S. and China, with AI and semiconductors being at the center of the tussle. Notably, ByteDance already outsources its own AI to other companies and has recently started dabbling with its generative AI-based tricks. As for Tako, there is no word on its wide release.