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TikTok Is Testing Its Own In-App AI Chatbot Named 'Tako'

Some people in the Philippines can try the experimental feature now.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
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TikTok is the latest tech company to begin work on an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. The video-hosting company announced Thursday on Twitter that it's begun a limited test of its AI-powered tool, called Tako, with select users in the Philippines.

"Tako is an AI-powered tool to help with search and discovery on TikTok," the company tweeted. "No current plans for this beyond these early tests, but we're excited to hear your feedback!"

"We're always exploring new technologies that add value to our community," a TikTok spokesperson told CNET in an email. "We look forward to learning from our community as we continue to create a safe place that entertains, inspires creativity, and drives culture."

According to the tech research firm Watchful.ai, Tako can recommend content to watch and users to follow based on what you've watched and questions you've asked it. A screenshot of Tako posted by the firm says the chatbot can answer questions and have a conversation with you, but Tako's responses might not be true and shouldn't be relied upon.

See also: ChatGPT vs. Bing vs. Google Bard: Which AI Is the Most Helpful?

Other tech companies, like OpenAIGoogle and Snapchat, have rolled out AI chatbots to people. Microsoft has also integrated AI into its Bing search engine.

TikTok is seemingly late to the game by those standards, but some major tech companies, like Apple, haven't made any announcements concerning AI features or tools yet. 

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.

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