YouTube Announces AI-Enabled Editing Products for Video Creators

The new features from Google’s video site include a way to generate AI-created video for backgrounds and new video production tools

(Bloomberg) — YouTube will roll out a slew of artificial-intelligence-powered features for creators, the latest effort from parent company Alphabet Inc. to incorporate generative AI — technology that can create and synthesize text, images, music and other media given simple prompts — into its most important products and services.

Among the new products YouTube announced Thursday is a tool called Dream Screen that uses generative AI to add video or image backgrounds to short-form videos, which the company calls Shorts. It also announced new AI-enabled production tools to help with editing both short- and long-form videos on its platform.

“We’re unveiling a suite of products and features that will enable people to push the bounds of creative expression,” Toni Reid, YouTube’s vice president for community products, said in a blog post timed to the announcement Thursday. The Google-owned video platform first announced that it was developing the tools in March.

Google has been under pressure to show results and practical applications for its generative AI products. Some critics have been wary the company, which has long been seen as a leader in artificial intelligence, was falling behind upstarts like OpenAI Inc. or rival Microsoft Corp., and that the products Google was rolling out weren’t yet ready for public consumption. OpenAI’s ChatGPT and a  new Bing chatbot from Microsoft — which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI since 2019 — have been wildly popular and gained mainstream favor. 

Over the past few months, Google launched its own ChatGPT competitor, Bard, and released a steady flow of updates to the product. It’s  also incorporated experimental generative AI features into its most important services, including its flagship search engine, in what the company calls its experimental “search generative experience.” The product generates detailed summaries based on information it’s ingested from the internet and other digital sources in response to search queries.

The announcement of the new features also comes as YouTube is locked in fierce competition with ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram Reels to gain more share of the vertical, short-form video market. YouTube said it now sees more than 70 billion daily views on Shorts, and the new generative AI tools appear to be aimed at attracting even more users and creators and gaining a competitive edge over its rivals.

The company also announced YouTube Create, a mobile app aimed at helping the platform’s creators make video production work easier. The app includes AI-enabled features like editing and trimming, automatic captioning, voiceover capabilities and access to a library of filters and royalty-free music. The app is currently in beta on Android in “select markets,” the company said, and will be free of charge.

Beyond creation, YouTube said it would also provide creators with more tools to get AI-powered insights, help with automatic dubbing of videos and assist with finding music and soundtracks for videos.

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