YouTube is testing AI-generated comment section summaries

YouTube is testing AI-generated comment section summaries

YouTube is trialling two new generative AI text tools amongst a small number of its Premium subscribers

The first is AI-generated comment section summaries, so you can just get the gist of the notoriously unhinged discourse that often transpires beneath YouTube clips. The second is an AI chatbot that will answer questions about the video you’re watching, including recommending further clips.

AI-generated YouTube comment section summaries

Announced on Monday, the first of YouTube’s newly revealed experiments is the introduction of AI-generated comment section summaries. The video sharing platform will use AI to summarise large comment sections within its Android and iOS apps, organising them into general topics.

“Creators can use these comment summaries to more quickly jump into comment discussions on their videos, or to draw inspiration for new content based on what their audiences are discussing,” said YouTube in a blog post.

Topics are created from published comments, so any which are held for review or blocked won’t influence the AI summary. However, users will only be able to remove topics by deleting individual comments which show up under them — a potentially tedious process.

Running until Dec. 5, YouTube’s AI summary trial is being restricted to a small selection of English-language long-form videos with large common sections. Premium users who opt in to the trial will be able to find it by opening the comment section of eligible videos on mobile, then selecting the new option to sort it by topics.  

YouTube’s AI chatbot

The other AI experiment announced by YouTube is a “conversational AI tool” that will answer questions about the video you’re watching while it’s still playing. It will also provide recommendations for related content upon request. 

YouTube may want to tread carefully here considering its algorithm’s already poor reputation for serving up problematic videos.

“For certain academic videos, the tool can aid learning journeys by providing quizzes and responses that encourage deeper understanding,” said YouTube.

If you start seeing “Ask” appear beneath some videos, that means you’re part of YouTube’s AI chatbot trial. Simply tap it, and you’ll be able to ask questions or choose a prompt.

YouTube has stated that the trial will be small, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see it. Like the platform’s AI summaries, the chatbot won’t be available on all videos, but U.S. Premium subscribers on Android will be able to sign up to the trial in the coming weeks.

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Amanda Yeo

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