YouTube will begin to experiment with new generative AI features, the company announced today. As part of the premium package available to paid subscribers, YouTube users will be able to try out a new conversational tool that uses AI to answer questions about YouTube’s content and make recommendations, as well as try out a new feature that will summarize topics in the comments of a video.
Both features will become available through YouTube’s hub for new experiments, youtube.com/new, on an opt-in basis. The conversational tool will arrive in the next few weeks while the topic summarization tool will begin testing only with a small group of users who sign up for the experiment through the website.
Explains YouTube, the conventional tool’s responses will be generated by large language models that draw on information from YouTube and the web and are designed to help viewers “dive in deeper” to the content they’re watching. For example, participants will be able to ask questions about the video they’re currently viewing or ask for other things to watch similar to the video using actions like “recommend related content.” These conversations with the AI will be able to take place as the video is streaming, so as not to interrupt playback.
The feature will be offered initially only in the U.S. and on Android devices via a new “Ask” option on the video’s watch page. YouTube Premium members can opt into this test starting today, but it won’t appear on every YouTube video as of yet. The tool is currently being tested with a select group of users, but will be available as an opt-in for YouTube Premium members in the weeks to come.
The comments summarizer, meanwhile, will leverage generative AI to organize and summarize the topics of discussion in large comment sections underneath a video to allow viewers to catch up on what people have been saying. YouTube believes this feature may also be useful to creators to help them learn what their channel’s subscribers are talking about without having to read through all the comments one by one. This could also help them gain inspiration for new videos based on comment topics, YouTube suggests. Plus, if creators want to remove any comment topics, they’ll be able to delete any comments that appear under certain topics.
The topics will be summarized only based on published comments, not those held for review or those that contain blocked words or are from blocked users, YouTube also notes.
This experiment, which is now running on a small number of videos, will only be available in English for the time being.
YouTube says the tests will continue over the next several weeks and months as the company gathers feedback on how consumers are using the new features.
Google has been experimenting with AI across its product line, from Search to Workspace to consumer apps like Photos and Assistant and more. On YouTube specifically, the company has also experimented with AI-powered ads that let brands target cultural moments, and has been rolling out a number of creator-focused AI features, including tools to find music for videos, AI-powered dubbing, plus “Dream Screen,” a generative AI feature that lets you create a background image or video for YouTube Shorts. YouTube Music also recently introduced AI-generated playlists. And YouTube had previously experimented with AI-generated video summaries and quizzes on educational videos.
“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,” said YouTube in its announcement. The company said users will be able to submit feedback directly in the tools themselves.