YouTube tests automatically adding chapters to videos

YouTube tests automatically adding chapters to videos

YouTube has announced another experimental AI feature to make video editing just a little bit easier. You may recall that earlier this year Google added the facility to add chapters to divide up your videos from your mobile, as well as from the desktop. Now, it has gone one step further with the option to let Google’s own AI add in the chapters for you. The main advantage of adding chapters to a video is that it creates easy jumping on and off points for the viewer, each one with its own separate preview. In an explanatory note in the YouTube support pages, it is explained that enabling these AI-powered chapters will mean that uploaders won’t need to list timestamps in their description for the system to parse. Google says that the AI will ‘recognise text’ in order to create the chapters.

As with all AI, it’s far from infallible but will learn as more people use it, and could prove a massive boon for creators who upload multiple videos every day. We’re not really sure if it has much to benefit the end viewer, though it may encourage the use of chapters by creators who haven’t bothered with them thus far, which may improve their visibility, thanks to the ‘Points of Interest’ feature in Google Search.

Initially, Google is testing this feature on a “small group of videos” and hasn’t specified which ones, so it might be worth checking to see if yours have been inadvertently and negatively affected. That might sound dramatic, but it’s important to remember that this is not just an experiment, it’s an AI experiment, so prepare for things to go wrong, or at the very least, go unexpectedly, and occasionally even hilariously. Google is aware of this and has provided a form to provide feedback and opt-out of the service altogether if it isn’t working for you.

About author

Chris Merriman
Chris Merriman

I am the UK News Editor at XDA Developers. I’ve been writing about technology for over a decade for the likes of The Inquirer, where I was Associate Editor, Computer Shopper UK, and IT Pro. I’ve also appeared on Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera and recently left a long-running weekly tech news spot on TalkRadio UK. My love of technology comes from my family who hail from the pioneering days of Silicon Valley - in fact my Grandfather worked on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I’ve been using smartphones (and reading XDA) since the HTC Canary in 2003. I’m also a smart home obsessive. You can find me tweeting as @ChrisTheDJ or email me at [email protected]