TikTok owner joins AI race with chatbot development platform

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, has joined the fray of generative AI competition with an open platform for chatbot development, according to the South China Morning Post. The Beijing-based social media giant is reported to launch a public beta test for the platform by the end of the month.

ByteDance has already released chatbots Doubao in China and Cici internationally, which is powered by ChatGPT. However, the new platform will provide services for developing customised AI chatbots. Baidu, who launched its ChatGPT-like ERNIE Bot earlier this year, had also released a development platform for Large Language Models (LLMs) called Qianfan.

This June, ByteDance’s B2B cloud service Volcengine or Volcano Engine, rolled out its support platform for LLMs called Volcano Ark. Exploring Model-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions, the platform is compatible with several LLMs to provide training, testing and marketplace services for AI models. However, the new reported platform takes a step further into the development of chatbots, instead of servicing existing models.

It has also been reported that ByteDance has formed a new AI department called Flow. Headed by Hong Dingkun, ByteDance’s VP of technology and Global TikTok R&D Chief Zhu Wenjia, the new department is focused on applications of AI. The department is reported to have started internal and external recruitment. The new platform is likely part of what this new department is working on. 


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