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CES: YOUTUBE’S AI IS THE PUPPETMASTER OVER WHAT YOU WATCH

YouTube’s artificial intelligence is getting better at dragging you down a video rabbit hole.

For more than 75 percent of the time you spend watching on Google’s massive video site, you’re lured in by one of the service’s AI-driven recommendations, YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said Wednesday, speaking at a panel discussion at CES.

And if you’re watching on mobile, the average watching session lasts more than 60 minutes, he added, “because of what our recommendations engines are putting in front of you,” he said.

The ability to personalize YouTube’s massive library of videos is crucial for the service, so you can find things to watch immediately when you open its app, or even after you’ve viewed what you searched for. It’s also critical for YouTube livelihood.

YouTube has long ruled free online video: Viewers watch more than a billion hours of video there daily. But social giant Facebook has been aggressively campaigning to put video first in your news feed. With its audience of 2 billion monthly visitors, Facebook is angling to swipe your attention from YouTube and eat some of YouTube’s lunch as more advertising dollars flow online from TV.

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