SmartReply first launched four years ago but it is now being rolled out for YouTube content creators. The company has announced that it is giving creators this feature to help support their interaction with viewers. SmartReply began rolling out with Android 10 as well recently so it is expanding throughout many platforms.
SmartReply has been gradually rolling out across different systems and platforms. The statement points out that this comes with unique challenges and issues each time it is expanded. Therefore, this is likely the reason for the gradual expansion. However, it is now here for YouTube creators.
What is SmartReply?
SmartReply is an AI system which allows YouTube creators to quickly and easily engage with their viewers. Creators can set up their own unique replies based on what sort of messages or comments they tend to send. SmartReply also learns from your replies.
It then acquires "comment and reply representation through a computationally efficient dilated self-attention network". This all sounds very complex but in essence, is efficiently learns from your replies to create suggestions customized for you.
The company has offered a walkthrough and examples of how this new feature can be used. As the YouTube community is so diverse it is important that the AI system provides personal suggestions.
Challenges in customizing SmartReply for YouTube
YouTube comment sections are full of variation in language, abbreviated words, slang, inconsistent usage of punctuation, and heavy utilization of emoji. This made customizing the SmartReply platform somewhat challenging.
Compared to longer emails which are dominated by formal text, this was a lot more of a task for developers. This meant developers largely redesigned the AI feature to make it workable for YouTube creators.
YouTube has used a Deep Retrieval system which is much more efficient than its previous one to help the feature operate. This searches for the most appropriate of a predefined list of suggestions.
SmartReply also will not include any preprocessing. This is because of the large use of emojis and inconsistent punctuation makes it somewhat redundant. The new system also only uses one program to learn all languages. This would be instead of separate ones for each language. This is due to a large amount of switching between languages that occur on YouTube.
YouTube insists that suggests will only be offered when they are appropriate. Because of the complexities of this system, it will not be as wide-ranging as seen on other platforms. This has meant YouTube has trained models to identify which comments should trigger the SmartReply feature.
SmartReply will be available for English and Spanish comments to begin with. This makes it the first cross-lingual byte-based SmartReply. YouTube concedes that the system will have to continue to improve over the coming months but his does appear to be a promising start.
YouTube Music has had issues in recent weeks with transferring music from Google Play over to its platform. Hopefully, users will find it as useful as YouTube think it will be and this can be a good news story for the company.