Google Adds Auto-Generated ‘Smart Replies’ to YouTube Studio

Google is adding its auto-generated ‘Smart Replies‘, which provide quick response options based on machine learning, to YouTube Studio in order to make it easier for creators to efficiently engage with their communities.

As explained by Google:

We are now excited to share an updated SmartReply built for YouTube and implemented in YouTube Studio that helps creators engage more easily with their viewers. This model learns comment and reply representation through a computationally efficient dilated self-attention network, and represents the first cross-lingual and character byte-based SmartReply model.”

They certainly have a way with words over at Google HQ, don’t they?

In essence, the Smart Replies process for YouTube will scan the text of your video comments, then provide suggested quick replies to each, which you can action in one tap. Smart Replies also learns from your responses over time, in order to provide options that are more in tune with your conversational style and tone.

Smart Replies have been available in Gmail since 2017, along with a range of other Google/Android surfaces.

In a post explaining the update, Google’s engineering team has outlined the various technical challenges they needed to overcome in order to implement Smart Replies for YouTube:

In comparison to emails, which tend to be long and dominated by formal language, YouTube comments reveal complex patterns of language switching, abbreviated words, slang, inconsistent usage of punctuation, and heavy utilization of emoji.”

In order to address these new challenges, Google’s team had to create a new Smart Reply system which supports “mixed-language usage in the comments”. The benefit of this is that the new model is able to use the common elements of one language to understand another (like emoji and numbers), which could make it easier for Google to evolve Smart Replies for more languages quicker.

At present, however, SmartReply for YouTube is only available for English and Spanish creators. The system, as noted, will make it easier for YouTube creators to engage with their audiences at scale – and with comment engagement helping to boost the exposure of YouTube videos, it’s an important element to stay on top of, which could make this an increasingly valuable addition, particularly for creators that generate a lot of response. 

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