YouTube Tests Generative AI Chatbot and Comment Summaries
YouTube has begun trying out new generative AI features aimed at enhancing the video platform experience. The two experiments include AI-produced summaries of comments and a conversational AI assistant to answer questions about a video and its content. Only a small number of testers will see the new options at first, but YouTube plans to apply feedback on them ahead of a potential wider rollout.
Generative AI Video Pal
The conversational generative AI chatbot is a familiar form for those who have tried ChatGPT, just tied directly to a video to help viewers get video-related answers without interrupting playback. Users can access the assistant via a button below a video, then ask questions or choose a suggested prompt to begin. The AI can even flip the scenario and ask the viewer questions about what they are watching. The example on the right shows how this would work in practice. Responses aim to enhance learning and satisfy viewer curiosity through AI-generated dialogue.
“This tool lets you get answers to questions about the video you’re watching, recommendations for related content, and more, all without interrupting playback. For certain academic videos, the tool can aid learning journeys by providing quizzes and responses that encourage deeper understanding,” YouTube explained in its announcement. “These features are experimental and we may not always get it right. That’s why we’re starting small with limited availability and collecting feedback.”
The other experiment is a comment summarizing tool that leverages generative AI to process large comment sections of long videos to make them easier to follow. The idea is to help both creators and viewers quickly grasp key discussion themes without sifting through all comments. YouTube said creators could also use the auto-generated topics to inform new content based on audience conversations. Comment moderation abilities would remain the same in every other way. You can see how it works on the right. Premium members in the U.S. using Android can sign up to trial both features, though there’s no guarantee of access.
By weaving AI directly into the experience via commenting and viewing, YouTube hopes to retain users through a unique personalized utility. It’s one of a number of generative AI features recently released or undergoing tests right now. The biggest push came earlier this year with the release of a synthetic image and video generator for YouTube Shorts videos called Dream Screen, along with analytics and inspiration for video ideas within YouTube Studio and a new mobile app called YouTube Create that comes with AI-assisted video creation and editing tools. YouTube also started embedding Google AI as an advertisement tool through its new “Spotlight Moments” package that leverages AI to find a video relevant to a holiday or major cultural moment like the Super Bowl and pushes ads across videos relevant to that topic or within a branded YouTube channel to produce a dynamic playlist. And YouTube also started offering a text-to-image tool for creating custom playlist album covers just last month.