Modern technology is consistently reshaping both how we experience our reality and express our creativity. With text and image generators igniting our collective imagination recently, the next revolutionary milestone we’re enjoying is AI-generated videos.
AI-generated video content is quickly emerging as a powerful tool in both the entertainment and content creation spaces. These impressive machine-crafted creations have grabbed the attention of global audiences while also broadening possibilities for filmmakers and content creators.
So, what does the era of AI-generated videos mean for human artistic expression and the very nature of authenticity?
The artificial intelligence (AI) we used in our daily life is no longer simple, rule-based algorithms. It has evolved from executor to creator that can generate creative content that challenges the once human-centric boundaries of creativity. In particular, AI-generated videos are taking the digital world by storm.
Here’s how they work:
AI-generated video content is created in much the same way that popular text and image generators like ChatGPT and DALL-E produce content. Using machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), deep neural networks (DNN), and natural language processing (NLP), these generators are able to access the health of the internet’s resources to create original videos from text-based prompts.
Users simply need to add a few text prompts which describe details such as objects or situations, the creative style, and even camera angles and lenses, and the tool brings it to life in seconds.
The videos range from funny parodies to incredibly stunning commercials, like this one from Coca-Cola.. Naturally, AI-generated videos have become increasingly viral off the back of the ChatGPT frenzy, arming your average internet user with the tools to become an overnight content creator.
With social media ablaze with memes and humorous content, the ability to create ‘moving memes’ or meme videos as easily as a regular image-based meme makes the popularity and viral nature of these videos inevitable.
A popular example is the crossover between the fashion brand Balenciaga and the novel and film series Harry Potter. The video brings the iconic wizarding characters to life sporting the fashion brand’s iconic apparel, blending two distinct artistic creations to create a unique, if not strange, final product.
AI-generated videos have also made their way into celebrity culture, with beloved Hollywood superstar/hero Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, ironically, shown to be eating rocks. Although a bit strange, it still shows the creative and conceptual capabilities of tools like Stable Diffussion.
But perhaps the best example is the fusion of film director Wes Anderson’s distinct style with the fantasy world of Lord of the Rings. The charming trailer reimagines the epic Hobbit tale with Anderson’s quirky visual style. It shows how AI can blend narratives and artistic elements to create new styles, genres, and perspectives.
Increasing technological advancements together with the widespread availability of sophisticated AI models are the driving force behind the development of AI-generated videos.
Here are a few leading industry players shaping this creative technology’s proliferation:
This impressive tool allows filmmakers, artists, creators, and designers to use AI to generate videos, storyboards, stylised visuals, animations, or interactive experiences. It is perhaps the most advanced AI tool for video generation.
This open-source interface allows users to play around with AI models and create AI-generated videos from a simple text prompt.
Although mostly known for its image generation capabilities, Midjourney also offers the possibility to animate some of its creations. This can be used to create unique backgrounds, textures for use in video productions, and video effects that create new possibilities for visual storytelling.
The social media behemoth’s easy-to-use tool allows users to create unique and personalised video content using the platform’s impressive AI algorithms.
Google’s Phenaki tool can synthesise realistic videos from textual prompt sequences to generate original videos in seconds.
This handy tool can be used to create AI-powered digital avatars with voiceovers in over 120 languages, simply through a text prompt. No microphones, cameras, or actors are needed. This is great for explainer videos, emails, demos, etc.
A leading concern of this technology is the rise of deepfakes, AI-generated videos designed to manipulate viewers into believing something that is not true in reality.
This brings into question the idea of authenticity. The highly realistic videos made by AI can lead to viewers being unable to distinguish between what they are viewing as real or not – furthering the blurred lines between reality and fiction.
While some deepfakes are created for entertainment, there are some that raise ethical and legal concerns due to the topics they deal with. For example, deepfake videos of politicians inciting violence or world leaders threatening war can be spread before it is known they are fake.
Deepfakes can be a severe threat to society if they are used by nefarious agents to sway elections, generate social unrest, discredit other candidates, and spread fake news. At a greater scale, the possibility to cause geopolitical conflicts between nations at war or during moments of tension is within the grasp of more people who can access this technology.
Another element of this is the use of deepfakes without consent. Videos depicting an actual person or well-known figure doing or saying something they otherwise wouldn’t have significant implications around the themes of extortion, identity theft, and adult content. Much like we laughed at a depiction of The Rock eating rocks, creators of such videos have the ability to place people into various other scenarios where it negatively impacts their character and identity.
There are also copyright and legal issues associated with AI-generated content. As these tools use and reappropriate existing, human-created content from the internet, disputes over ownership of AI-generated content and copyright infringement are becoming more widespread. What is currently happening in the gaming industry is a good example of the confusion that exists between creators and gaming businesses/platforms regarding ownership.
Game artists and creators feel like their work is getting plagiarised when AI-generated content is used by gaming companies. Also, users who leverage AI to add elements to games are unsure if they are really the owners of the final product or if the game or the company behind the AI tool really have rights to it. Laws in the USA and UK state that only humans are able to claim ownership of content, leaving copyright issues regarding AI-generated content up in the air.
The immediate and profound impact AI-generated video content has had on audiences, brands, and creators alike is a clear indication that they are not only here to stay, but will play a major role in shaping the future of entertainment and content creation.
As technology advances, the role of AI in video production will have a tremendous impact on filmmaking as it will no doubt surge past viral memes to stake its claim in the industry. Filmmaking will forever be changed, possibly making it a more streamlined and affordable process. Conceptualisation will know no bounds, and our wildest imaginations can soon be depicted on screens by creatives who won’t need to go to film school. Soon, everything can be done in a studio, or on a computer, and even the need for actors might become obsolete in certain scenarios.
However, while AI-generated videos hold the potential to skyrocket our imaginations and creative abilities, ethical concerns need to be addressed before the technology proliferates further.
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