GPT-AdBlocker for Chrome promises to block all ads, including ads in videos
It was only a matter of time before a developer would come up with an idea to use AI tools for content blocking on the Internet.
GPT-AdBlocker is a free browser extension for Google Chrome that uses AI to block advertisement. The developers promise that it blocks all ads, including ads that are shown in videos. The extension works in other Chromium-based browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Brave, Opera or Vivaldi as well.
The extension was launched back in April 2023 and was listed on Producthunt at the time. The developers state that it was built "upon the solid foundation of Ublock" and that it uses "advanced artificial intelligence technology to block out all types of ads". Also, it is based on Manifest V3 already, which means that it is future-proof.
The creators of GPT-AdBlocker have published a short demo video on YouTube.
A look at the privacy practices on the Chrome Web Store shows that the developers have disclosed that they don't collect or use user data.
Up until now, projects such as Sponsorblock were all YouTube users had to skip sponsored content in videos. These rely on manually adding timestamps of sponsored blocks in videos. The popularity of Sponsorblock makes it a good option for many popular channels and videos, but it is not a full solution because of its manual approach to the blocking.
GPT-AdBlocker attempts to address this by automating the skipping of sponsored parts in videos with the help of AI. The feature works automatically once installed and a quick test confirmed that it did indeed detect sponsored parts in videos and skipped them.
The skipping is not as perfect as the manual approach. Sometimes, you'd watch a few seconds in the beginning, at other times, you'd watch a few seconds at the end. It also happened that seconds of the regular video content were cut as well by the extension.
The developers of AdGuard came to similar conclusions when they took GTP-AdBlocker to the test. They concluded that "it leaves “leftovers” of sponsored ads" sometimes, and "cuts the video rather crudely" at other times.
The technology itself is interesting, however, and there is certainly room for improvement, especially when it comes to accuracy.
Improved content blockers will likely be developed in the coming years and these may provide better results. For now, the good old skipping ahead option, using Sponsorblock, or supporting the channel by watching the sponsored part of the video should work for most users.
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