Want to skip to the good bit of a video? YouTube is testing a smart AI feature for that

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I’ve been increasingly driven to distraction by YouTube’s ever-more-aggressive delivery of adverts before, during and after videos, which is making it a challenge to even get to the bits of a video that I want to see without having some earnest voice encourage me to trade stocks or go to Dubai. Until now I’ve been too cheap to subscribe to YouTube Premium – but that may soon change. 

That’s because YouTube is apparently testing an AI-powered recommendation system that will analyze patterns in viewer behavior to cleverly skip to the most popular parts of a video with just a double tap on a touchscreen. 

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“The way it works is, if a viewer is double tapping to skip ahead on an eligible segment, we’ll show a jump ahead button that will take them to the next point in the video that we think they’re aiming for,” YouTube creator-centric channel Creator Insider explained. “This feature will also be available to creators while watching their own videos.”

Currently, such a double-tap action skips a YouTube video forward by a few seconds, which I don’t find hugely useful. And while YouTube introduces a form of wave pattern on the video timeline to show what the most popular parts of the video are, it’s not the easiest thing to use, and can sometimes feel rather lacking in intuitiveness.

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So being able to easily tap to get to the most popular part of a video, at least according to an AI, could be a boon for impatient people like me. The only wrinkle is that this feature is only being tested for YouTube Premium users, and is currently limited to the US.

But such features do tend to get a larger global rollout once they come out of the testing phase, meaning there’s scope for Brits like myself to have access to some smart double-tap video skipping – that’s if I do finally decide to bite the bullet and pay for YouTube Premium.

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