YouTube's new AI 'Jump Ahead' option lets us skip to positive part
NEW YORK: (Web Desk) YouTube started testing a way for users in March to skip ahead to the most interesting parts of a video, determined by user watching data and AI predictions.

 Now, the experiment is out of beta. It's rolling out to YouTube Premium users — but only on Android for now.

For viewers who are just trying to get to the good stuff, this could be a useful way to skip the filler content in bloated videos. It might also be a powerful incentive to sign up for YouTube Premium, which the streaming giant has been pushing hard for in other ways, like potentially adding pause screen ads and cracking down on ad-blockers for free accounts. Our attention spans are already minuscule, but there's also the unsettling feeling that YouTube is using AI to shave them down even further.

Per 9to5Google, when you double tap to skip ahead 10 seconds, you'll see a "Jump Ahead" button on the bottom righthand corner of the screen. If you tap this, text over the video says, "Skipping over commonly skipped section." So instead of jumping ahead by 10 seconds, it's taking to you what has been deemed "the next best point a viewer typically skips ahead to." Again, this feature is trained by granular watch data, as well as your own watching habits, so YouTube is leveraging AI to take you to specific points in the video that you likely want to see.

In addition to the "Jump ahead" button, YouTube has also been testing an AI-powered "Ask" button, which lets Premium users ask specific questions about a video or find related content through a chatbot interface, without interrupting playback.

Premium users can test out both features on "Jump ahead" is available until June 1 and "Ask" is available until May 21. After that, YouTube might extend the deadlines or move it out of the testing phase and deploy them as official features.

Cecily is a tech reporter at Mashable who covers AI, Apple, and emerging tech trends. Before getting her master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she spent several years working with startups and social impact businesses for Unreasonable Group and B Lab. Before that, she co-founded a startup consulting business for emerging entrepreneurial hubs in South America, Europe, and Asia. You can find her on Twitter at @cecily_mauran.