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YouTube trials feature that replaces video backgrounds

Tyrone Stewart

YouTubeGoogle has begun testing a tool on YouTube that enables creators to change the backgrounds in their videos much like a green screen does.

The tool, called ‘mobile real-time video segmentation’, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to replace the backgrounds on videos recorded via mobile phones for the YouTube app. The technology has been integrated into stories, which is a lightweight video format currently in limited beta for YouTube creators, though there are plans to integrate into more of Google’s augmented reality services in the future.

“Our new segmentation technology allows creators to replace and modify the background, effortlessly increasing videos’ production value without specialised equipment,” reads a blog post from Google Research software engineers, Valentin Bazarevsky and Andrei Tkachenka. “Our immediate goal is to use the limited rollout in YouTube stories to test our technology on this first set of effects. As we improve and expand our segmentation technology to more labels, we plan to integrate it into Google's broader Augmented Reality services.”