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AI: AI video start-ups race ahead as Big Tech competition looms...

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Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 06:13:35 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 06:13:35

After the explosion of interest in text and image generators, using AI to generate videos is considered the next frontier and start-ups and Big Tech companies alike are investing in the space. Video tools from OpenAI and Google aren’t publicly available yet, so start-ups such as Pika are moving fast to expand before the bigger companies put out their own commercial and consumer-focused tools. But creating a video with AI is much more technically difficult than making a still image, and requires a huge amount of computer processing power, making it an expensive and slow process. AI


After the explosion of interest in text and image generators, using AI to generate videos is considered the next frontier and start-ups and Big Tech companies alike are investing in the space. Video tools from OpenAI and Google aren’t publicly available yet, so start-ups such as Pika are moving fast to expand before the bigger companies put out their own commercial and consumer-focused tools. But creating a video with AI is much more technically difficult than making a still image, and requires a huge amount of computer processing power, making it an expensive and slow process.

Pika’s new funding round, which includes investments from Spark Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Greycroft, brings its valuation to $470 million. Pika has built its own “foundation model,” meaning it doesn’t rely on tech from other AI companies. But that’s expensive and the company needs money to continue training its AI while also improving the features in its video-editing tool.

Pika’s tool works by letting generate short videos based on text prompts. Users can change the aspect ratio, make the videos longer, trim specific and change certain elements of a video, such as the kind of clothes a character is wearing.

Pika’s team of 13 includes former Google, Meta and Uber AI researchers. Founders Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng are former AI PhD students from Stanford University who dropped out to start the company. In an interview, Guo said she believes the company has the AI expertise to compete with better-funded organizations.

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“Our technical team is coming from all the top AI places,” Guo, who is also Pika’s CEO, said. “We are very confident in building the best video foundation model.”

But the most popular and lucrative social media platforms in recent years have been video-based. Dozens of apps exist to help regular edit videos to post on Instagram or TikTok and the big social media platforms have begun experimenting with putting AI features into their apps to let create their own images.

The funding round brings Pika’s total funding to $135 million. Bigger AI companies such as OpenAI have access to billions of dollars and hundreds of staff. OpenAI has begun building a consumer , and video-editing tools could be part of that, creating significant competition for smaller companies such as Pika.

TECHNOLOGY