In a post to its (always fascinating) AI Blog, Google has just revealed that its Smart Reply feature, previously present on apps and services like Messages and Gmail, has come to comment replies for YouTube content creators. Built right into YouTube Studio and with support for both Spanish and English, the feature will make it easier for content creators to churn out generic, low-effort replies to comments. (Like and subscribe, brah.)
We might joke about things like YouTube's generally low comment quality, and how the company is essentially lowering the bar when it comes to responses from creators by automating that process, but it's still pretty fascinating — and, if we're being fair, a low-effort comment deserves a low-effort reply.
Anyone with an eye toward technical details and the near-magical black boxes that machine learning represents should give the blog post a read down at the source link below. But, in short, Google had to seriously rebuild how Smart Replies worked because of differences in the sort of stuff folks post in YouTube comments. And we don't mean people being salty and toxic, we mean things like emoji and ASCII
In fact, Google was able to build a single model that could handle all that, plus support for both currently supported languages in one. The company pulled some pretty smart tricks like "temporal reduction" (so far as I can tell, that means training the network to avoid repetition and the additional processing overhead associated with it) to trim down just how much data it needs to process. In fact, YouTube comments are just about the most difficult source of data Google could use to generate Smart Replies from, and it's impressive they were able to do it all in a single, small model.
If you'd like to geek out about it, check out Google's much more detailed technical dive just below. The rest of us can just revel in the (entirely legitimate) technical accomplishment the next time a content creator can save a few taps by clicking "thanks" instead of typing it.