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Google Bard Can Now Understand YouTube Videos

Google Bard Can Now Understand YouTube Videos

Sarah Hardacre
With Google’s latest YouTube extension for Google Bard, the AI chatbot can now understand YouTube content and provide users with details on the content of videos.

On Bard’s dedicated update page, Google says the extension comes on the heels of user feedback. “We’ve heard you want deeper engagement with YouTube videos. So we’re expanding the YouTube Extension to understand some video content so you can have a richer conversation with Bard about it.”

The previous YouTube extension deployed in September allowed Bard to analyze videos for the sake of finding content based on the user request, but it did not provide written details on the videos themselves.

With this new extension, users can ask for details on a YouTube video without having to watch it or search for the information themselves. For example, if a person wants specific details for a recipe in a cooking video such as the quantity of a particular ingredient, Bard can parse through its video summary and provide this information.

Some users have tested the new features, and while the answers to simple requests are more or less correct, more complicated queries lead to inaccurate responses. The imprecise responses relied on past data or referenced unintended videos. In one case, Bard provided the details of a video that was 13th in the sidebar rather than the main video itself.

While this is clearly a first step in a longer journey to develop GenAI capabilities to interpret video, it’s not clear where this is heading. While this feature is interesting for users and Google itself, how it can bring value and – more importantly – protect content providers, is unknown.

For example, users that are looking for specific information could skip watching videos altogether, thereby bypassing ads, and still have access to the information contained in the video. Another concern is that users can conceivably ask Bard to access information, such as recipes, that some publishers hide behind a paywall on their websites.

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