YouTube is testing a new AI-powered chatbot that can converse with viewers to let them “dive deeper into the content they are watching.”
The new conversational tool on YouTube will provide “answers to questions about the video you’re watching, recommendations for related content, and more, all without interrupting playback,” YouTube announced. The “YouChat” feature is available starting Monday to a “small number of people on a subset of videos.” In the next few weeks, it will roll out to YouTube Premium members in the U.S. on Android devices, the video platform said.
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Users who have access the experimental chatbot feature can access the tool by tapping the new “Ask” button beneath select videos and begin by asking questions about the video or choosing a suggested prompt. A YouTube spokesperson said the conversational tool does not use Google’s Bard chatbot. Rather, its responses “are generated by large language models that draw on information from the YouTube platform and the web,” according to the rep.
YouTube released an animation showing how an example of how the “YouChat” conversational generative AI feature would work:
In addition, YouTube is kicking the tires on another experimental generative AI feature that summarizes topics in large comment sections to give viewers an easier way to see and catch up on the conversations happening in a video. For creators, “we hope this feature will help them learn what their subscribers are talking about at a glance,” YouTube said. That test is running on a “small number of videos” in English that have large comment sections; YouTube Premium members can opt-in to try out the feature at youtube.com/new.
“Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll learn more about how viewers are using these new features and continue to introduce more updates that make YouTube even more relevant and useful,” a YouTube rep said in an email, adding that the platform “remain[s] committed to keeping our long-standing responsibility mission front and center as we introduce these features across the app.”
Those features are in addition to a series of other AI-based tools YouTube recently announced in September at its Made on YouTube creator event. Those include YouTube Create, a new app with features for automating editing, effects, filters and transitions; Dream Screen, which can create AI-generated video and image backgrounds to set new dynamic scenes for YouTube Shorts; and Aloud, an AI-powered dubbing tool.
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