"Fortunately, on YouTube, in addition to having algorithmically generated thumbnails, many YouTube videos also come with carefully designed custom thumbnails uploaded by creators. Those thumbnails are typically well framed, in-focus, and center on a specific subject (e.g. the main character in the video). We consider these custom thumbnails from popular videos as positive (high-quality) examples, and randomly selected video frames as negative (low-quality) examples"
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Inspired by the recent remarkable advances of deep neural networks in computer vision, we have recently launched an improved YouTube "thumbnailer" algorithm that uses neural networks to automatically select the best image to showcase a video’s content. Head over to the Google Research blog to learn how it works.
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