YouTube is getting a big AI upgrade to make your life easier

YouTube open on an Android phone
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Google appears to be testing out the use of AI to automatically summarize YouTube videos. It's the latest in Google's slate of new generative AI initiatives to go head-to-head with ChatGPT and other competitors using this emerging technology. 

As first spotted by Android Police, a YouTube support page dated July 31 notes that these video summaries will only be auto-generated for English-language videos for now. 

"We’re starting to test AI auto-generated summaries on YouTube, so that it’s easier for you to read a quick summary about a video and decide whether it’s the right fit for you," the support page reads. 

These summaries are intended to provide a "quick overview of what a video is about," according to YouTube. But the company also notes they aren't intended to replace the existing descriptions submitted by the creators themselves:

"While we hope these summaries are helpful and give you a quick overview of what a video is about, they do not replace video descriptions (which are written by creators!)."

These summaries will appear on both watch and search pages for a limited number of users. If you come across them, YouTube is encouraging viewers to share their feedback to assist in this testing phase. 

No screenshots were provided, so it's unclear what these summaries will look like. Presumably, they would include some kind of disclaimer noting it was written using AI and not by a video's creator. 

The search giant made it clear back at Google I/O 2023 that it's going all-in on AI, so it comes as no surprise to see YouTube incorporating more AI-generated features. Extensions for Google Bard, Google's AI chatbot, are in the works for its host of tools like Maps, YouTube and Gmail

In March, Google announced plans for integrating its AI-powered chatbot into Google Docs and Gmail, allowing users to draft documents and email replies in seconds or summarize the contents of long email threads. And rumor has it the company is also cooking up a feature for Google Assistant to automatically summarize almost any webpage

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.