ByteDance, the parent company of popular social media app TikTok, is facing a crisis of innovation and efficiency, according to its CEO Liang Rubo. In a company-wide meeting on Tuesday, Liang warned the employees that ByteDance risks becoming complacent and mediocre as it lags behind in the AI race and faces competition from newer startups.
Liang said that ByteDance, which is often regarded as the world’s leading company on algorithms, has not paid enough attention to groundbreaking AI technologies, such as the GPT machine learning technique that has given OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot human-like accuracy. He said that ByteDance did not discuss GPT until 2023, although GPT-1 was already released in 2018.
“GPT is just one example. There are many other new technologies that we are not aware of or not sensitive enough to,” Liang said. “We need to be more proactive and more attentive to the AI breakthroughs that are happening around the world.”
Liang also criticized ByteDance’s internal bureaucracy and inefficiency, saying that the company’s rapid expansion in recent years has made it less agile and responsive. He said that ByteDance now takes six months to work on projects that a startup could complete in one month, and that the company suffers from too much red tape and unnecessary delays.
“We need to streamline our processes and eliminate the waste of time and resources. We need to be more decisive and more action-oriented. We need to be more flexible and more adaptable to the changing market and user needs,” Liang said.
Liang urged the employees to embrace the company’s core values of innovation, user focus, and social responsibility, and to avoid falling into the trap of mediocrity and complacency. He said that ByteDance faces a serious threat from new AI startups that are more familiar with the industry and more eager to seek acquisition or partnership opportunities.
“For many good startup teams, they can quickly spot any new projects appearing on GitHub, and then they start seeking acquisition or partnership opportunities,” Liang said. “They are very aggressive and very ambitious. They are not afraid to challenge us or even surpass us.”
Liang said that ByteDance needs to be more vigilant and more competitive, and to constantly improve its AI capabilities and products. He said that ByteDance has a unique advantage of having a large and diverse user base across different platforms and regions, and that the company should leverage this data to create more value and social impact.
“We have a great mission and vision to inspire creativity and enrich life. We have a great opportunity and responsibility to use AI for good. We have a great potential and talent to achieve more. We should not waste this chance or let ourselves down,” Liang said.
ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, uses AI technology to power its recommendation engines, content moderation, voice conversion, and music creation features on the popular social media app. Here are some examples of how ByteDance uses AI technology in TikTok:
Recommendation engines: TikTok uses AI to analyze user preferences, behavior, and location to provide personalized and relevant content recommendations
Content moderation: TikTok uses AI to detect and remove inappropriate or harmful content, such as nudity, violence, hate speech, or misinformation.
Voice conversion: TikTok recently launched StreamVoice, a feature that allows users to alter their voices to mimic others, such as celebrities, singers, or cartoon characters.
Music creation: TikTok is experimenting with AI Song, a feature that uses AI to create songs based on text prompts that users enterThese are some of the ways that ByteDance uses AI technology in TikTok to enhance its functionality and creativity.
ByteDance CEO Liang Rubo warned the employees that the company risks becoming complacent and mediocre as it lags behind in the AI race and faces competition from newer startups.
He said that ByteDance has not paid enough attention to groundbreaking AI technologies, such as the GPT machine learning technique, and that the company suffers from internal bureaucracy and inefficiency. He urged the employees to be more proactive and attentive to the AI breakthroughs, to streamline the processes and eliminate the waste, and to leverage the company’s large and diverse user base to create more value and social impact.