YouTube’s AI Creator Tools: Mixed Reactions Among Creators

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In mid-September, YouTube unveiled a range of new artificial intelligence tools designed to enhance various aspects of content creation on its platform. These tools promise to assist creators in generating content ideas, editing videos, and even creating video footage through features like Dream Screen. However, unlike the widespread enthusiasm AI features have generated in other creative industries, YouTube’s AI tool announcement has been met with a relatively subdued response. Content creators on the platform seem to be more concerned about how generative AI is already influencing YouTube.

This year has seen a significant rise in generative AI tools that make it easier to generate images and text by scraping content from the internet. While some have embraced these tools, artists and writers have pushed back, citing concerns about copyright and the undermining of their own work. Notably, high-profile authors, including George R.R. Martin and Jodi Picoult, even sued OpenAI for scraping their books. Moreover, generative AI often faces issues with hallucination and inaccuracies.

Conversely, many have experimented with these tools, and some have used them professionally. AI-generated art has won awards, and some news websites have used AI to generate articles, leading to staff reductions. AI has also become integral to TikTok, with AI-powered filters like Bold Glamour and Ghibli filters, as well as themed avatars.

However, YouTube’s announcement hasn’t generated much buzz. The announcement on the YouTube Creators account on X (formerly Twitter) received minimal engagement. On the main YouTube account, it performed worse than a tweet about “stars.” There are few videos discussing these tools on the platform itself, despite a thriving community of YouTubers explaining how to use AI tools for video creation. However, these videos primarily focus on existing tools for generating scripts and voice-overs or creating and editing images. YouTube’s new tools essentially provide an in-house option for much of this functionality.

The key selling point of YouTube’s AI tools is their ability to generate content based on a creator’s historical output. For example, the “insights” tool can personalize video ideas based on what a creator’s audience is already watching. It also aims to recommend music for videos, including royalty-free options. Nevertheless, existing creators appear relatively uninterested in these tools.

Some believe these tools may lead to a devaluation of video editing skills, particularly among newer creators. There’s concern that creators who rely on AI will miss out on the benefits of learning video editing skills and making creative decisions. The potential pitfall depends on whether YouTube’s tools remain available, given Google’s history of discontinuing features. Moreover, generative AI is currently not profitable for most companies, which could result in its waning popularity.

Some creators already feel undercut by AI on the platform, as AI-generated content poses challenges for those who rely on video creation for a living. YouTube creators have raised concerns about plagiarism and misinformation facilitated by AI and believe YouTube should require disclosure when AI is used in video creation.

YouTube’s AI tools are still being tested in select countries, and it remains to be seen how they will impact the platform. While there are concerns that these tools may create new challenges for creators, the larger issues surrounding AI and content creation continue to be the focus for many.

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