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YouTube tests AI-generated comment summaries and a chatbot for videos

YouTube Premium subscribers can trial the experimental features.

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YouTube announced two new experimental generative AI features on Monday. YouTube Premium subscribers can soon try AI-generated comment summaries and a chatbot that answers your questions about what you’re watching. The features will be opt-in, so you won’t see them unless you’re a paid member who signs up for the experiments during their test periods.

The AI-powered summaries will organize comments into “easily digestible themes.” In a Mr. Beast video YouTube used as an example, the tool generated topics including “People love Bryan the bird,” “Lazarbeam should be in more videos,” “No submarine” and “More 7 day challenges.” You can tap on the topic to view the complete list of associated comments. The tool will only run “on a small number of videos in English” with large comment sections.

Screenshot from the YouTube mobile app with an AI-powered comment summary feature. It categorizes comments by topic.
YouTube

If you’re worried about YouTube’s summaries spiraling out of control the way the platform’s comment sections often do, the company says it won’t pull content from unpublished messages, those held for review, any containing blocked words or those from blocked users. Further, creators can use the tool to delete individual comments if they see problematic (or otherwise unwanted) discussions about their videos.

Meanwhile, YouTube’s conversational AI tool gives you a chatbot trained on whichever video you’re watching. Generated by large language models (LLMs), the assistant lets you “dive in deeper” by asking questions about the content and fishing for related recommendations. The company says the AI tool, which appears similar to chatting with Bard, draws on info from YouTube and the web, providing answers without interrupting playback. Eligible users can find it under a new “Ask” button in the YouTube app for Android.

Starting today, YouTube Premium subscribers can opt into the comment summarizer on YouTube’s experiments page. However, the company says you won’t see the “Topics” option for all videos. In addition, the conversational AI tool is only available now “to a small number of people on a subset of videos,” but YouTube Premium subscribers with Android devices will be able to sign up to try it in the coming weeks. The company warns the experimental features “may not always get it right,” a description that can equally apply to Google’s other AI experiments.