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TikTok introduces human-like, AI-generated avatars and voice sync for brands and creators

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The video-sharing app, which is embroiled in a legal battle with the U.S. government over its license to operate in the U.S., continues to push further into AI advertising.

TikTok, the video-sharing platform with over one billion monthly active users, today unveiled new AI-powered tools for advertisers, including digital avatars and dubbing features that can translate brand messages into different languages ​​around the world. The announcement was made at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“Creativity is at the core of TikTok. When brands truly embrace creativity that reflects TikTok’s culture, they can connect with their community and drive real results,” said Adrienne Lahens, global head of content strategy and operations at TikTok.

The new features are part of Symphony, a suite of generative AI offerings for advertisers that TikTok launched in May. Symphony includes a variety of tools to help streamline the creative development and content production processes for developers and marketers.

Brands and developers can now use pre-made avatars in their content. The avatars mostly look and move like real people and are designed to reflect a wide range of nationalities and languages.

Stock Avatars

Symphony users can also create their own custom versions, design an avatar in their own image or intellectual property, or develop a multilingual character as desired to share content in local languages ​​around the world.

The new dubbing feature in Symphony allows users to translate their own content into more than 10 languages. The goal is to help creators and brands expand their reach and build a more global audience. Using artificial intelligence, the tool seamlessly detects the language spoken in a video, transcribes the dialogue, translates, and then outputs a dubbed version in the selected languages.

As part of TikTok's efforts to further support brands and developers with generative AI tools, the platform is also launching an advisory group. The new Symphony Collective: Industry Advisory Board brings together developers and marketers from across the brand and agency world to provide ongoing feedback.

“At TikTok, we are building the future of creativity and inviting brands to test and learn with us as we seek to simplify and unleash a whole new paradigm of creation,” said Lahens.

The collective's founding members include representatives from top brands like Wendy's, Mondelez and the NBA, as well as agency heads from OMD, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Tinuiti and more.

“TikTok has been a remarkable force for more open, diverse and bold forms of creativity,” said Anthony Hamelle, executive director of digital, social and innovation at TBWA\Chiat\Day US, in a statement. “With GenAI as the creative catalyst, this stage, which welcomes thousands of creators and communities, will be even more dynamic.”

Hamelle said the agency, whose clients include Discover, Jack in the Box, Levi's and DirecTV, will share insights from its own work, including TikTok content it develops for Hilton.

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A select number of top creators are also involved in the Collective, including Drea Okeke, David Ma, Michelle Gonzales and O'Neil Thomas. They will experiment with TikTok's AI tools in their own content and share feedback with the organization.

Drea Okeke, known for her content on Nigerian culture and cuisine and her role in Fuse's “We Need to Talk About America,” a comedy series centered around pop culture and the internet, said she was excited to participate – and to get more out of her own content in the process.

“As a creator, my goal has always been to spread joy and share my culture with the world,” she says. “TikTok has been a game changer and has allowed me to connect and build an online community in ways I never thought possible. I love using AI to streamline my creative process and increase my productivity, so I'm especially excited to join the TikTok Symphony Collective Advisory Board. I look forward to seeing the creative ways AI can help us creators innovate and grow even more.”

Filmmaker David Ma, meanwhile, plans to use TikTok's new Symphony AI tools to enhance his commercial work for brands like Twix and Truff. “As a creator, I'm always experimenting with new filmmaking techniques for my craft and content. I'm constantly exploring new ways to scale my content without sacrificing my creativity,” he explained. “TikTok is a pioneer in providing creative tools that allow me to effectively collaborate with brands and build lasting, long-term brand relationships.” He's excited to participate in the Symphony Collective, he said, “to help myself and other creators bring efficiency to our creative processes while maintaining our artistic voice.”

The news comes less than two months after President Biden greenlighted a bill that would require TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest TikTok's U.S. operations within a year or face a nationwide ban. TikTok is suing the U.S. government over the decision, claiming the law violates the First Amendment rights of the millions of Americans who use the app.

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