Without AI, There Would Be No TikTok. Here’s Why.

Since 2016, TikTok has been using artificial intelligence to boost engagement and, as it turns out, the tactic was so successful that it launched the platform to the very top in terms of the number of users around the world.
Understandably, others wanted to follow this recipe, especially because of the current AI boom, but TikTok still seems to be undisputed in relation to the competition.
How TikTok secured this position and what are the company's further plans when it comes to AI, find out below.

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Illustration: Lenka T.

In one of our previous articles, we mentioned that China is currently facing difficulties in procuring necessary hardware and software due to the US advocating for restrictions and export bans to China. 

Chinese companies are rushing to secure the necessary supplies before the sanctions take effect in September this year, but the long-term solution lies in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s efforts to restore relations with individual manufacturers. 

One of the companies that will be prohibited from selling in China is Nvidia and its graphics processing units (GPUs). 

Why is TikTok investing $1 billion in AI? 

Chinese tech giants such as Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, and ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok) have sparked immense demand for Nvidia’s High-Performance Computing (HPC) products – so much so that the Chinese distribution chain is facing serious difficulties in meeting the demand that local distributors cannot fulfill. 

To put things into perspective, ByteDance alone has spent $1 billion on purchasing high-performance AI chips, surpassing the total number of chips sold in China throughout the entire previous year, as reported by Chinese media. 

Moreover, Nvidia estimates that, due to the aforementioned sanctions, the company could incur a loss of around $400 million, which could significantly impact the company’s further technological progress. 

It is projected that artificial intelligence will generate an impressive $4.4 billion in the global economy, so it’s not surprising that Asian companies aim to position themselves at the top of the global market. To achieve this, they must have access to the best AI resources, including high-performance Nvidia chips. 

From all of this, it is clear why many are outraged by the decision to impose sanctions and why they believe the consequences of this decision will negatively affect their businesses and undermine the ambition of Asian companies to remain competitive internationally. 

New AI Features on TikTok 

Shortly before the news regarding sanctions, TikTok introduced a new feature called Script Generator, designed to help businesses generate video content more easily for production and publishing on the platform. 

Additionally, to further support small and medium-sized businesses to join and regularly use the platform, TikTok announced an investment of $12.2 million in such enterprises in Southeast Asia just over a week ago. 

Moreover, in early June 2023, ByteDance Ltd. announced the development of a domestic version of the chatbot called “Grace”, which would serve as an alternative to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. For the global audience, TikTok is also experimenting with a chatbot called “Tako” but its use so far has been limited to answering user questions. 

Furthermore, the new AI beautification filters have caused great excitement (and controversy), as many consider them the most advanced and convincing ones to date, with almost no noticeable glitches or irregularities, even when moving quickly or swiping a hand across the face. 

Although plans on this platform are inseparable from AI technology, it seems that the export ban to China will seriously disrupt the business plans of one of the world’s largest tech giants. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.