YouTube’s new AI experiment automatically adds chapters to videos

The days of having to suffer through an overly long and cringe-worthy YouTube intro are nearly behind us. YouTube has announced a new test that is using machine learning to automatically apply chapters to videos, removing the burden from creators while helping viewers quickly navigate through the content. In addition, YouTube has detailed another experiment involving timestamps.

Late last year, YouTube published a support document on its public experiments as a way for beta testers to keep tabs on what the company is testing. Two new installments were added to that list, one today and one yesterday; they involve AI-powered video chapters and video timestamps.

The new video chapters test, which is only impacting a small number of videos, involves using machine learning to automatically — and intelligently — add chapters to videos. Leveraging AI removes the need for creators to manually insert the chapters, potentially opening the door for far more videos that have readily available chapters.

YouTube says that creators whose videos are impacted by this test can opt-out of the experiment if they want; there’s also the option of sending feedback to YouTube to help shape the future tool. Beyond this, YouTube has also announced a new experiment involving timestamps.

For the small number of people who have access to this experiment, YouTube will automatically set the time for the timestamp at the part of the video where the commentary is taking place. This tool involves a new icon that creators can tap to add the timestamp. It’s unclear when these features will roll out to everyone.

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