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The future of AI is video, and it’s coming at us fast

Does a future with AI scare you? Excite you? Both of those things? Does it feel as if it’s opening up a world full of possibilities that are both brilliant and terrible? If it’s any of that, I get you.

I’m terrified of the 2024 elections. Between fake news and AI images becoming universally available and very good, we are facing a particularly ugly election.

If you’ve spent any time on Instagram, you will have seen photos edited using Photoleap and videos transformed with Videoleap. The company is showing off its next-gen video editing software that can copy one style of video to another. It isn’t flawless, but it is head and shoulders above some of the other technologies out there.

To get a better idea of what this future could look like, I spoke to Zeev Farbman, co-founder and CEO of Lightricks. The company has been at the cutting edge of adding AI functionality to customer-facing tech, both in the aforementioned Photoleap and Videoleap apps and in the company’s research lab.

Look, I’m not naïve about this. AI is a tool like, say, dynamite. It can be used to blast through a mountain to build a road, or you can use it to blow up things important to other people. Unlike dynamite, however, there seems to be little regulation around AI.

Right out the gate, Farbman stressed that a lot of what we can accomplish with AI video is a continuation of what we’re already doing with photo AI. He’s not wrong. Adobe added Content-Aware Fill to Photoshop in CS5 back in 2010. It used AI that’s several generations old, but it shows that we’re merely on a technology continuum here.

“If you’re looking at the world of image creation, you can almost claim by now that it’s a solved problem,” said Farbman. “It’s not solved yet in terms of user interfaces, because if you want to use the latest and greatest controls, you need to download all kinds of weird open source tools and combine them together. It’s a messy process. But at the end of the day, in terms of research, we’re getting to a point where, if you know what you’re doing, you can imagine any kind of picture and create it.”

For a long while, animations like the video below have been the cutting edge of consumer AI video. They are nifty, but there’s very little consistency between frames. You get an interesting, psychedelic effect — but nobody is going to mistake this type of video for the real thing.

 

That’s about to change very rapidly, however.

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