YouTube’s ‘jump ahead’ experimental AI feature is here in wider test

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • One of YouTube’s experimental AI features, called “jump ahead,” is now being tested with many YouTube Premium subscribers.
  • The feature uses AI to figure out the best parts of a YouTube video and automatically skip to them to save users’ time.
  • It’s like the standard skip tool for YouTube videos but powered by AI. 

YouTube is testing “jump ahead,” an AI-assisted feature that will automatically skip to the best or most important parts of YouTube videos, in a wider experiment for YouTube Premium subscribers. It takes watch data from real users and analyzes them with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to find the most-watched sections. Essentially, it’s like skimming the summary of a book online instead of reading the whole thing. 

YouTube’s algorithm will pick these key points in a video, and you can skip through them. Or, if you’re in the middle of watching a video, you can “jump ahead” to the closest key point in a YouTube video. 

However, this won’t work for every YouTube video during this growing test. We don’t know the exact qualifications needed for “jump ahead” to be an option for a video. It could be based on how many views a video gets, because perhaps YouTube needs a big enough viewer sample size to identify those key points. This is all speculation for now, and we’ll likely learn more about this feature if it progresses in development. 

Our knowledge of the feature now comes from YouTube’s Creator Insider channel, which detailed the “jump ahead” feature in a March 2024 video:

Jump Ahead works in tandem with the regular skip video on YouTube. If you’re a Premium user on an eligible video, you may see the jump ahead option when you try to do a regular 10-second skip. If you tap the option that appears, YouTube will move you to the next key point in a given YouTube video. 

This functionality is exclusive to the YouTube for Android app, at least at the moment. In a sidebar, YouTube explains that jump ahead “is a Premium-only feature that combines watch data and AI to help identify the next best point a viewer typically skips ahead to.”

You can try jump ahead through YouTube’s new experiments page, and it is opt-in. For now, YouTube has set an end date for the test early next month, but it’s possible the platform could keep it going for longer.

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Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John’s University in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. When he isn’t experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

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