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CES: YouTube's AI is the puppetmaster over what you watch

Blackout at CES
Blackout at CES 00:29

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. 

Virtual reality at CES 03:33

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.

"We focused a lot in last several years on machine learning and artificial intelligence to learn what our users like and make," Mohan said. "Our job is to give the a steady stream, almost a synthetic or personalized channel," Mohan said. 

This article originally appeared on CNET.  

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