Inside YouTube's latest AI updates 🔎

The platform's new tools blur the lines of creator ownership

Good morning. Hank Green recently shared that he bought a 10% stake in the word game “Gubbins.” As writers and general enthusiasts of all word games (we have an entire Slack channel dedicated to Wordle), we are excited to support a creator and try what Game Developer is calling “Scrabble on acid.”

YouTube Rolls Out AI Shorts Tools and Policies

YouTube announces disclosures for videos produced with AI (left) and an AI tool that lets creators use the voices of artists including T-Pain and Charlie Puth (right) / Illustration by Moy Zhong with photography from YouTube

YouTube just announced a one-two punch of artificial intelligence updates. 

The new AI tools and rules: 

  1. YouTube is rolling out guardrails that will require creators to disclose when they’ve used AI-generated content in their videos. The platform will also introduce content tags that creators can add to their videos to notify users if what they’re watching is altered or synthetic.

  2. YouTube is also launching a new AI tool that lets Shorts creators make songs using the voices of artists like Charlie Puth, T-Pain, Demi Lovato, Troye Sivan, and more. It’s called Dream Track, and it works with Google’s DeepMind AI tech to let Shorts users enter text prompts like “Sing a song about my dog Thor” and pick from a range of artists to voice an AI-generated song based on the prompt.

Big picture: Platforms are looking to help guide the trajectory of AI-generated tech, which is growing at a rapid (and sometimes uncontrollable) clip. But as some creators have pointed out, the unprecedented level of accessibility to an artist's voice in new AI tools like YouTube’s Dream Track, for example, creates murkiness around ownership, one of the most important currencies for creatives.

Science YouTube Channel Relaunches After 3 Years

Emily Graslie announces her return to The Brain Scoop as an independent creator with a new content strategy / thebrainscoop

This week, science YouTube channel The Brain Scoop relaunched after a three-year hiatus...this time, fully owned by its creator, Emily Graslie.

Backstory: Graslie launched the channel in 2013 as an employee of the Field Museum in Chicago, making content on her employer’s behalf and growing The Brain Scoop to 600,000 subscribers.

  • Graslie left the museum in 2020 to work on other creative projects like fine art painting.

  • In the three years since, the museum never replaced Graslie.

  • So this year, Graslie approached her former colleagues at the museum, and they agreed to give her the channel and ownership of all future IP.

Now she’s back as the sole owner and operator. To fund the channel, Graslie is running a Patreon that has more than doubled in supporters to 800+ since launching Monday.

“I'm overwhelmed by just how positively [the relaunch] was received,” Graslie told us. “The other side of it too is ‘oh crap,’ cause before I had this whole museum and I could walk down the hall and film something incredible and now I’m going to figure it out.” 

But Graslie has gotten help in doing just that, from positive comments to neighboring museums offering their labs for filming: “Even if people can't provide me with money, they're still providing me with so much support and that’s something I’ve missed as being an independent creator,” Graslie said. “To say that I couldn’t make this without Brain Scoop viewers is fully true.”

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Jacksfilms Starts an ‘Ethical Reacts’ Video Series

Jacksfilms launches series “Creator Bingo” where he reacts to creator-submitted videos and gives feedback / JJJacksfilms

Comedy creator Jack “Jacksfilms” Douglass started a new video series called Creator Bingo on his second channel, JJJacksfilms, where he gives constructive, creative, and comedic feedback to creator-submitted videos. 

Why now? Following his react series on SSSniperwolf (which resulted in her subsequently doxxing him), Douglass wants to evolve his content to include more ethical reactions. 

“I want to do reaction content the right way—the ethical way—where everything you watch is willingly sent by its creators,” Douglass said in the video launching his Creator Bingo. “And I wanted to turn this channel into more of a workshop to help up-and-coming creators hone their craft to help them make the best videos they can.”

FYI: The first video, released this week, has had positive reception so far, landing on the YouTube trending page. 

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Simone Giertz started a Kickstarter for foldable coat hangers.

  • TikTok is letting creators make custom filters within the app.

  • YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley is reportedly starting a company that uses AI to generate short-form video scripts and content.

  • Spotify releases a report on podcast listener behavior.

  • Ninja Kidz is opening more theme park locations in Indiana and Utah.

  • Doug DeMuro signs with WME.

📚️ Thank You For Pressing Publish

The content we’re looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.

  • Read: Is “deinfluencing” directly in opposition to being a creator? Vox reporter Rebecca Jennings explores the trend to determine whether selling things is the only way creators can thrive.

  • Watch: The Super Bowl for chefs (aka Thanksgiving) is next week, and food creator Alison Roman has put together an equally entertaining and informative special on what to make—or not. Worth a watch even if you don’t lift a finger to get dinner on the table.

  • Listen: André 3000, known for being 1/2 of rap duo Outkast, released his first solo album today. There are no words, just instrumental music, making it ideal for your next work session.

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