Google’s success originated in one simple insight from its founders who realized that the sprawling, chaotic mass of material that was cascading onto the world wide web could be tamed by ranking search results according to their popularity.
They have not looked back since, making millions from online advertising off the back of the algorithms that power their search engine, even as they direct and nudge how consumers interact with the world. The use of algorithms in search is just the tip of the iceberg today. Many other platforms are already using machine learning (ML) algorithms to enable AI-based outcomes, fueling the virtuous cycle of meeting consumer needs and shifting consumer behaviors.
Take for example Bytedance’s flagship products, TikTok (known as Douyin in China) and Toutiao. TikTok uses AI in various ways, from facial recognition for their filters through to the recommendation engine in the “For You” feed. The platform is capable of understanding and analyzing text, images and videos using natural language processing and computer vision technology, enabling them to serve users with the content that they find most interesting, and empower creators to share moments that matter in everyday life to a global audience.
Similarly, for Toutiao, which acts as a one-stop shop for aggregated Chinese news, its unique selling point is gathering stories from thousands of outlets and using AI to personalize content according to the individual user’s interests and preferences, and in so doing, increase user engagement and time spent on the platform.
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