September 6, 2023

AI Summaries on YouTube: Google’s New Test Explained

Google’s YouTube platform is currently in the testing phase of using Generative AI to auto-generate video summaries, according to an announcement on their support page. This test is part of a broader effort to utilize AI in providing concise overviews of video content to users, thereby assisting them in determining the relevancy of a video to their interests. For now, the auto-generated summaries will only appear next to a select number of English-language videos and will be visible to a limited user base. These summaries are meant to complement, not replace, the human-written video descriptions currently in place.

According to Google spokesperson Jen Jamie, these AI-generated summaries aim to “build and refine the best experience for our viewers and creators.” During this test phase, these summaries will be particularly prominent when viewing English-language vlogs, shopping videos, and how-to content on mobile devices. This initiative is part of a larger trend within Google to apply Generative AI across various platforms and functionalities. For example, Google announced a feature for the Play Store that uses generative AI to summarize app user reviews, adding another layer to their extensive AI efforts that also include new search experiences and productivity tools.

This experimental feature has the potential to significantly impact YouTube’s content ecosystem. As video creators aim to align their content with YouTube’s often elusive recommendation algorithm, the introduction of AI-generated summaries could add another variable to consider. Creators may need to think about how their videos can be summarized effectively by AI, in addition to making their content engaging for human viewers.

YouTube is far from the only company exploring the use of AI for content summarization. Other platforms like Artifact have recently introduced AI-powered summary features for news articles, indicating a growing trend in the application of AI technologies for content curation and summarization.

It will be fascinating to watch how these AI-generated summaries will influence not just user engagement but also content creation strategies. As AI continues to evolve, so too will its applications, making it a space to watch for anyone interested in the intersection of technology and user experience.

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