ByteDance Plus

Tim Bradshaw in Financial Times:

ByteDance is selling some of the artificial-intelligence technology that powers its viral video app TikTok to websites and apps outside China, as it broadens its revenue streams ahead of a long-anticipated initial public offering.

BytePlus offers businesses the chance to tap some of TikTok’s secret ingredient: the algorithm that keeps users scrolling by recommending them videos that it thinks they will like. They can use this technology to personalise their apps and services for their customers.

(emphasis mine)

I usually don’t write about the consumer applications on this blog, but I am alive to the consumer trends that will impact the healthcare (or delivery thereof). TikTok makes an addictive application for users; especially around the creator and attention economy. Its secret sauce lies in the ability to run personalisation models at scale, tailor the dark patterns to keep users hooked to the platform. This borders on the grey area of legality, but that’s what the investors find lucrative – to target the younger age group. Beyond the “research and development” costs in algorithms, they spend their money in lobbying and owning the public narrative.

Computer vision is compelling – it represents a case scenario around device based recognition of objects hooked to narrative from the cloud. TikTok took it to another extreme by detecting points around the body and recognise gestures with overlays. Yet, as the startups apply this algorithm to sell products, hospitals can use the same algorithm to either upsell product overlays on their static screens (think of it as augmented reality overlays) or direct users around the complex.

We are in for interesting times.