Microsoft could use video data from its potential acquisition of TikTok to train AI systems and learn more about its consumers. The Washington Post reports that Microsoft's lack of a video service makes it less competitive in the AI space compared to rivals like Facebook and Google.
- If Microsoft were to acquire TikTok, it could harvest data in the form of billions of videos uploaded to TikTok every year, which could feed its AI ambitions.
- The data could train AI systems to understand better consumer trends, popular brands, and what makes a video go viral. It could also train computer systems to read lips.
- Amazon owns Twitch, Google owns YouTube, and Facebook has access to videos posted on its platform. Among large AI companies, Microsoft lacks this source of consumer video data.
- Microsoft is currently negotiating with TikTok parent company ByteDance to purchase the app’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The company plans to reach a negotiation deal by Sept. 15th.
- President Trump will allow a TikTok sale to a U.S. company only if the U.S. government gets a cut of the deal. TikTok founder Zhang Yiming said that Trump's attempt to force a sale feels like it was made to ban the app.