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TikTok’s Developing a New AI Chatbot Called Genie

With the AI race heating up, TikTok looks like it’s preparing to launch its own AI chatbot to Western users, based on a recent filing in the U.S.

According to Semafor, TikTok has sought to trademark the name “Genie” for its coming AI chatbot tool, which would enable users to pose questions in-stream, and get immediate responses, among other functions.

As per Semafor:

In May in the US, the viral video app filed to trademark the name “Genie” for an AI chatbot software that will, among other functions, simulate conversations, facilitate interaction and communication between humans and AI, and produce human-like speech and text.”

So TikTok’s looking to make it more of a hub for its AI functionalities, with the chatbot essentially connecting users to different elements of the app.

TikTok’s actually been developing its AI chatbot for some time, with users in the Philippines getting access to its “Tako” chatbot tool in May last year.

TikTok Tako AI chatbot

Though Tako, according to TikTok, is only designed to guide users to other videos in the app, not to answer more complex queries.

TikTok’s next-generation chatbot would seemingly be a more robust offering, integrating all of TikTok’s various AI elements into one stream.

Which would also include its generative AI search function, which is now available in Douyin, the Chinese version of the app, and enables users to maximize discovery both inside and outside the app.

As reported by Pandaily (in Decmeber 23):

The ‘AI Search’ feature is located within the search interface of the Douyin app, alongside other search services such as products, group buying, users, and videos. Users only need to input relevant questions or information in ‘AI Search’ to obtain answers generated by intelligent search technology.”

TikTok’s updated chatbot would seemingly incorporate this expanded search functionality, along with TikTok’s evolving AI functions, which also now include the capacity to build your own virtual humans that can live-stream within the app.

TikTok avatars

Another element, as indicated by Semafor, could be TikTok’s “StreamVoice” system, which can simulate a person’s voice, based on just a few utterances, while TikTok’s also developing AI music generation processes and text-to-video creation tools as well, and all of these could seemingly be integrated into an expanded chatbot offering, making it much easier for TikTok users to find these various functionalities.

So while Meta has pushed its AI chatbot out to all of its apps, providing a new way to tap into its AI tools, TikTok would essentially be following the same blueprint, though I suspect that TikTok’s tool will be more focused on functional discovery, and making it easier for users to access all of its various tools, as opposed to coming up with text summaries as responses.

Because that functionality, on Facebook and IG, doesn’t actually seem that valuable. I mean, sure, it’s amazing what the latest AI tools can produce, and it’s interesting to be able to, say, generate a visual, based on a text prompt in-stream.

But really, how many people are tapping on Meta’s AI search prompts to get more info on a post in the app?

I suspect TikTok will move in a slightly different direction, providing a more functional AI bot that will essentially incorporate all of its expanding AI creation tools into one, making it easier to try them out.

We may find out soon, with TikTok moving to activate its “Genie” bot.

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