Cristos Goodrow: YouTube Algorithm

Cristos Goodrow is VP of Engineering at Google and head of Search and Discovery at YouTube (aka YouTube Algorithm).

This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. If you would like to get more information about this podcast go to or connect with @lexfridman on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, or YouTube where you can watch the video versions of these conversations. If you enjoy the podcast, please rate it 5 stars on Apple Podcasts, follow on Spotify, or support it on Patreon.

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Here’s the outline of the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time.

00:00 – Introduction
03:26 – Life-long trajectory through YouTube
07:30 – Discovering new ideas on YouTube
13:33 – Managing healthy conversation
23:02 – YouTube Algorithm
38:00 – Analyzing the content of video itself
44:38 – Clickbait thumbnails and titles
47:50 – Feeling like I’m helping the YouTube algorithm get smarter
50:14 – Personalization
51:44 – What does success look like for the algorithm?
54:32 – Effect of YouTube on society
57:24 – Creators
59:33 – Burnout
1:03:27 – YouTube algorithm: heuristics, machine learning, human behavior
1:08:36 – How to make a viral video?
1:10:27 – Veritasium: Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?
1:13:20 – Making clips from long-form podcasts
1:18:07 – Moment-by-moment signal of viewer interest
1:20:04 – Why is video understanding such a difficult AI problem?
1:21:54 – Self-supervised learning on video
1:25:44 – What does YouTube look like 10, 20, 30 years from now?