YouTube’s latest AI experiments includes a new chatbot that’s designed to give you more information about a video you’re watching. The conversational AI tool, as Google’s support post calls it, aims to answer your questions about a video and can also recommend related content. It can also quiz you on a topic if you’re watching an educational video. The experimental feature has been announced alongside another AI tool that aims to organize a video’s comments into topics.
Both features come as part of a wider push from Google to integrate AI across its services including Search, Gmail, and its office productivity suite. In YouTube specifically we’ve already seen the company announce a host of AI features aimed at video creators, like AI-generated backgrounds for Shorts, an AI dubbing feature for translating videos into other languages, and AI-powered video topic and audio suggestions. It’s also reportedly working on an AI tool that lets users make their own tracks in the style of famous musicians.
YouTube is emphasizing that both of its new AI tools are only available as part of limited experiments for now. According to its support page, the conversational AI tool is only available in English, on select videos, on Android devices, and to Premium subscribers in the US over the age of 18. Where available, it’s accessible by clicking on a button labeled “Ask” beneath the video. Screenshots of the feature show how you can pick from pre-generated prompts asking the chatbot to summarize the video or recommend related content, or you can write prompts of your own.
The video platform previously announced it was experimenting using AI to auto-generate summaries of videos in July. But the new tool appears to be broader in scope, offering not just AI-generated summaries but also responses to specific questions as well as information on videos beyond what you’re currently watching.
As well as the conversational AI tool, YouTube has also announced a new AI-powered comment categorization feature, which aims to sort a video’s comments into individual topics. Example comment topics shown under a MrBeast video (where Google says comments have been “simulated for illustrative purposes”) include “People love Bryan the bird,” “Lazarbeam should be in more videos,” and the slightly more confusing topic “no submarine.”
The topics feature is also running as an experiment, and will be shown on a “small number of videos in English that have large comment sections.” Where available, the feature can be accessed via a new “Topics” button that’ll appear alongside existing options to sort comments by “Top” or by “Newest.”
YouTube’s blog post emphasizes the benefits this feature will have for video creators, who it says will be able to “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.”
With both of the AI tools, YouTube is warning that “we may not always get it right” with the experiments. Particularly when it comes to YouTube comments, the video platform will have to be on guard if it wants to stop its generative AI from regurgitating the worst of a heated comment section. Premium subscribers who’d like to try out the features should head over to youtube.com/new, where they can sign up to test the comment categorization feature now, and will be able to test the chatbot in the coming weeks.