YouTube is amping up its efforts in generative artificial intelligence, adding a “Dream Screen” and other AI tools for creators.
The Dream Screen offers a searchable well of AI solutions designed for YouTube’s burgeoning Shorts platform. At the tech company’s annual Made on YouTube event in New York, a live demonstration showed it coming up with mashups like a dragon flying over a photograph of the city or a dog appearing to drive a car, all fantastical short videos derived from entering terms into a custom search engine.
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In a Q&A session after the event, executives downplayed the risks of unleashing the technology on a massive population of creators and users. AI more broadly and applications like ChatGPT have prompted concerns about everything from copyright violations to deepfakes. The technology has been a central issue in the ongoing negotiations between studios and streamers and striking members of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.
Shorts has gained significant traction since its 2020 launch, topping 70 billion daily views each month from more than 2 billion signed-in users.
“Whether it’s generated through AI tools or whether it’s video uploaded to YouTube, it is subject to the our same community guidelines,” YouTube CEO Neal Mohan said during a Q&A at the end of the event. “The rules of the road that apply to video content on YouTube apply to everything that you saw today, whether it’s our policies around deepfakes or misinformation. … There might be challenges around technology like this. Our rules of the road apply, our enforcement rules apply. All of the technology we’ve been investing in for many years to make sure we live up to our responsibility as a global platform will apply here.”
In addition to Dream Screen, YouTube also introduced a suite of editing tools and a new app called YouTube Create. The company said next year it plans to roll out generative AI-suggested video topics directly within YouTube Studio for creators “who are unsure what to make next,” in the words of a blog post. Other new features include automatic dubbing as well as an assist for creators looking to find soundtracks.
In heralding the arrival of AI as a creative boost, YouTube called on some heavy hitters at the presentation. Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music for Google and YouTube, welcomed former YouTube exec Robert Kyncl, now CEO of Warner Music Group, and pop star Charlie Puth. Stepping over to a keyboard, Puth walked the audience through a recent process he experienced when using AI to help him write a song. The machine not only suggested a modulation of the song’s key and an embellishment to the melody, but it sang the result back to him in his own voice.
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