YouTube begins testing new 'Ask' and 'Topics' generative AI features

YouTube on Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube is beginning to test two new generative AI features for a small number of users, beginning with its new "Ask" feature.
  • Users can either select pre-made prompts or write their own as they ask the AI questions about relevant content or about a video.
  • A new "Topics" button will appear for those in the test, grouping like-minded comments together to be easily digestible for quicker reading.

As we get our week underway, YouTube is revealing some details surrounding new AI tests beginning on the platform.

According to a YouTube community post, these experiments are working some generative AI magic onto videos that, ideally, help provide users with a better video-watching experience. The testing kicks off with a new "conversational" AI tool, which can apparently help user dive deeper into their video experience. YouTube explains that this feature lets users ask the AI questions about the video they're currently viewing.

A new starred "Ask" button is set to appear in the row beside the thumbs-up or thumbs-down icons when watching a video on mobile. Tapping it will open a section where users can type in their desired question, and the AI will do its best to respond accordingly.

YouTube states users can ask questions about related content and more without interrupting their viewing pleasure as it will appear right beneath the video and not in full screen. The company offers a few pre-made prompts users can give the AI bot such as "summarize the video," "tell me more about this topic," and "recommend related content."

This feature, much like the one to follow, is in an experimental phase. YouTube is advising users of this fact as some aspects may not function properly. This is why it encourages those lumped into the test on mobile to submit as much feedback as they can.

This test is rolling out today to a "small number of people." Furthermore, "in the coming weeks," YouTube Premium members can opt into the test on Android devices.

YouTube will begin testing a new "Topics" features supported by its generative AI.

(Image credit: YouTube)

The second test involves a "summarized topics" feature, courtesy of its AI's organization skills. It's stated that the AI will organize comments on long-form videos into "easily digestible" themes, accessible via the starred "Topic" option while in the comments section.

YouTube states this feature might benefit creators more as they can hop into conversations quickly without having to do so much reading. Moreover, creators can easily remove rude or harmful comments that appear within these topics from their videos through this method, as well.

The AI cannot display comments on topics if they are under review, contain blocked words, or are from a blocked user.

YouTube adds this test is running for a "small number" of English videos with larger comment sections. Users (on mobile) that may have been randomly picked will begin to see this starred "Topics" section appear as we progress. However, YouTube Premium members will find the option to opt into the test later today.

These tests follow the rollout of YouTube Create, an AI-powered app that creators can use to make video editing easier, from back in September. The app gives users a selection of editing tools such as precision trimming, automatic captioning, voiceover capabilities, and even some royalty-free music.

Elsewhere in its ecosystem, YouTube has expressed its interest in bringing generative AI to music, through its "Music AI incubator," though that'll take some time as it works with the industry. However, the company did begin a test where it's letting users create playlist covers through the use of generative AI as they go through pre-made descriptors for creating that perfect piece of art.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.