Lately, Google has been on a mission to implement AI in all of its products, including Gmail, Photos, Search, and now, YouTube is receiving AI-related updates. A new community post from Google (via The Verge) outlines a couple new AI tools rolling out to YouTube, including a conversational AI chatbot and AI-generated comment summaries for select videos.
While YouTube's new AI tools are helpful in some ways, they could also encourage an instant-gratification mindset, summarizing videos quickly and consisely so you can consume more content on the platform. For some, this could be a great time-saver. But for others, it could make it easier to spend more hours on YouTube without realizing it.
How YouTube's new AI tools will work
Both of YouTube's new AI features are experimental and rolling out with limited availability. In a community post, a TeamYouTube member writes "we may not always get it right," explaining why these features aren't rolled out to everyone. Google/YouTube will collect feedback and improve the tool multiple times before it's ready for a wide release.
The conversational AI tool (or AI chatbot) can summarize a YouTube video, answer pre-generated prompts or custom questions, and recommend related content. If you have access to the feature on the video you're watching, you'll see an Ask button below the video.
YouTube also plans on using AI to organize the comment section, making it easy to group similar comments together and show both the content creator and viewers which topics are most popular. This feature is currently available on a "small number of videos in English that have large comment sections," providing AI ample material during its initial testing phase.
If the feature is available on a YouTube video, there will be a new Topics button shown when you open the comment section. In the example shared by Google, the Topics button appears between the two existing buttons titled Top and Newest.
Although viewers will also benefit from organized topics in the comment section, YouTube is mainly highlighting this AI feature as a time-saving tool for content creators. YouTube says creators can "more quickly jump into comment discussions on their videos" and "draw inspiration for new content based on what their audiences are discussing."
Anyone who regularly uses YouTube as a viewer or a creator knows that the comment sections can get a bit vicious at times. The Verge points out that one of YouTube's biggest potential problems with this AI feature in the comments is being able to "stop its generative AI from regurgitating the worst of a heated comment section."
You need to be a YouTube Premium subscriber to take advantage of both new AI features. If you're just interested in the AI chatbot, you'll also need to be located in the U.S., over the age of 18, and an Android user to have a chance at being part of the limited experiment. Even then, the tool is only showing up on select videos at the moment.
If you meet all the requirements mentioned above, head to youtube.com/new to sign up as a tester for the AI-categorized comments feature now. Over the next few weeks, testers can also experiment with the AI chatbot.
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