YouTube on Thursday unveiled a slew of new artificial intelligence-powered tools to help creators produce videos and reach a wider audience on the platform, as companies race to incorporate buzzy generative AI technology directly into their core products.
“We want to make it easier for everyone to feel like they can create, and we believe generative AI will make that possible,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s CEO, told reporters Thursday during the company’s annual Made On YouTube product event.
“AI will enable people to push the boundaries of creative expression by making the difficult things simple,” Mohan added. He said YouTube is trying to bring “these powerful tools” to the masses.
The video platform, under the Alphabet-Google umbrella, teased a new generative AI feature dubbed Dream Screen specifically for its short-form video arm and TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts. Dream Screen is an experimental feature that lets creators add AI-generated video or image backgrounds to their vertical videos.
To use Dream Screen, creators can type their idea for a background as a prompt and the platform will do the rest. A user, for example, could create a background that makes it look like they are in outer space or on a beach where the sand is made out of jelly beans, per demos of the tool shared on Thursday.
Dream Screen is being introduced to select creators and will be rolled out more broadly next year, the company said.
YouTube also unveiled new AI-powered tools that creators can access to help brainstorm or draft outlines for videos or search for specific music using descriptive phrases. YouTube said it was bringing an AI-powered dubbing tool that will let users share their videos in different languages.
Alan Chikin Chow, 26, a content creator based in Los Angeles who recently hit 30 million subscribers on YouTube, told CNN that he is most excited about using the new AI-powered dubbing tool for his comedy videos. Chikin Chow currently boasts the title of the most-watched YouTube Shorts creator in the world.
“I think global content is the future,” Chikin Chow told CNN. “If you look at the trends of our recent generation, the things that have really impacted and moved culture are ones that are global,” he added, citing the Korean smash-hit TV series “Squid Game” as one example.
Using the AI-powered dubbing features, he said he hopes to reach audiences in new corners of the world that might not otherwise be able to engage with his content.
Chikin Chow added that he’s also excited to use the new editing tools to help save time.
The rise of generative AI has animated the tech sector and broader public — becoming the latest buzzword out of Silicon Valley since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT service late last year.
Some industry watchers and AI skeptics have argued that powerful new AI tools carry potential dangers, such as making it easier to spread misinformation via deepfake images, or perpetuate biases at a larger scale. Many creative professionals — whose works are often swept up into the datasets required to train and power AI tools — are also raising the alarm over potential intellectual property rights issues.
And some prominent figures inside and outside the tech industry even say there’s a potential that AI can result in civilization “extinction” and compare its potential risk to that of “nuclear war.”
Despite the frenzy AI has caused, Chikin Chow told CNN that he ultimately views it as a “collaborator” and a “supplement” to help propel his creative work forward.
“I think that the people who are able to take change and move with it are the ones that are going to be successful long term,” Chikin Chow said.