YouTube's AI-generated video chapters could help you skip lengthy intros

They're only in testing so far.

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Jon Fingas
November 24th, 2020
BRAZIL - 2020/10/09: In this photo illustration the YouTube logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

YouTube chapters can help you quickly navigate a video, but you often don’t have that luxury when creators have to add them by hand. There might not be as much of a rush going forward. The 9to5Google team reports that YouTube is testing automatic, AI-generated video chapters, A machine learning system creates the chapters by looking for text. In other words, a producer who’s been thoughtful enough to title sections in the video itself might not have to add chapters later.

The internet giant is currently experimenting with auto chapters for a “small group of videos,” and is giving creators chances to opt out and offer feedback.

This won’t help with videos with subtler transitions between sections. It also won’t be surprising if some creators balk at AI organizing their videos. If the technology works well, however, it could be helpful for producers who’d rather not go to the trouble of adding timestamps. And of course, it could be useful for viewers — you might not have to wade through two minutes of introduction for a five-minute video.

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