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Pika, which is building AI tools to generate and edit videos, raises $55M

Image Credits: Pika Labs
Image Credits: Pika Labs

The excitement around generative artificial intelligence has not yet subsided. As an illustration, Pika, a startup developing an artificial intelligence-driven platform that allows users to edit and generate videos from still images and captions, recently announced that it has successfully raised $55 million in a funding round. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the funding round, and it also included participation from Homebrew, Conviction Capital, SV Angel, Ben’s Bites, and notable angel investors such as Quora founder Adam D’Angelo, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, and Giphy co-founder Alex Chung.

It is only six months since Pika emerged from stealth mode, and the new tranche coincides with the launch of an early access version of what Pika is calling “Pika 1.0.” This new suite of videography tools features a generative artificial intelligence model that is capable of editing videos in a variety of styles, such as “3D animation,” “anime,” and “cinematic.”

“Video is at the heart of entertainment, yet the process of making high-quality videos to date is still complicated and resource-intensive,” says Pika in a blog post published on its website this morning. “Video is at the heart of entertainment.” “When we first established Pika, which was around six months ago, our goal was to push the limits of technology and build a future interface for video creation that would be simple to use and available to everyone. Since then, we are pleased to announce that the Pika community has expanded to include half a million people actively producing millions of films weekly.

Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng, previously Ph.D. students in the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Lab, founded Pika. Before beginning his studies at Stanford, Guo worked as an engineer at Meta’s artificial intelligence research division. On the other hand, Meng was a co-author of several research articles, including some on generative artificial intelligence.

Pika competes with generative artificial intelligence video tools and models developed by companies like Runway and Stability AI. However, with the release of Pika 1.0, the company intends to improve its performance by introducing several features that set it apart from its competitors.

As an illustration, Pika 1.0 is equipped with a tool that can either lengthen the duration of movies already in existence or change them into new genres, such as “live action” to “animated.” Additionally, it may increase the canvas or aspect ratio of a video. Through artificial intelligence, another module modifies video footage, such as altering a character’s outfit or even introducing a new one.

It will be necessary for us to put those skills to the test once Pika 1.0 is made accessible to the general public. However, Lightspeed, an investor in Stability AI, believes in the platform. This is despite other tech titans, including Google and Meta, indicating they are also working on generative artificial intelligence tools for video.

Creating professional-quality videos will likewise become more accessible to the general public due to generative artificial intelligence, much as other emerging AI technologies have done for text and graphics. Michael Mignano, who works for Lightspeed, claimed this in a press release. “We believe Pika will lead that transformation.” It would appear that the Pika team is destined to transform how we express our tales, given that they have such an excellent technological foundation found in early enthusiasm for creativity. We, at Creativity Speed, are happy to be investing alongside other incredible investors at the forefront of artificial intelligence, and we couldn’t be more eager to support their objective to make it possible for anybody to bring their creative vision to life through video.

The fast expansion of Pika reflects the ongoing and robust demand for generative artificial intelligence with various flavors, including tools such as Midjourney and DALL-E 3, as well as ChatGPT.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) recently published research in which it anticipated investments in generative artificial intelligence will increase from $16 billion this year to a staggering $143 billion in 2027. Although generative artificial intelligence will only account for 9% of total investment in AI in 2023, the company anticipates that this percentage will rise to 28% during the next five years.

The expenditures may be justifiable. Even though the survey was conducted solely with users from the United Kingdom, it was discovered that Generation Z is enthusiastic about generative artificial intelligence. Seventy-nine percent of adolescents between 13 and 17 reported using generative AI tools, applications, and services like ChatGPT and Snapchat’s My AI.

Gen Zers, on the other hand, are not always the ones who are paying for generative AI. Additionally, commercial clients, who have the most financial resources to spend on it, are experiencing difficulties installing some versions of the technology for their businesses.

According to the 2023 generative AI in the enterprise report by O’Reilly, 26% of corporate AI adopters are still in the early stages of piloting generative AI. These corporate AI adopters are deeply concerned about the potential challenges that are currently and will be in the future surrounding the technology. These challenges include unexpected outcomes, security, safety, fairness, bias, and privacy. The paper suggests that many factors prevent generative artificial intelligence from reaching its full potential. These factors include the difficulties of identifying commercial use cases, worries about legal issues (such as who owns the copyright over AI-generated content), and AI solutions that are poorly planned and poorly implemented.

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