AI Synthetic Media: What to expect and what it will mean


AI learns from seen data to make predictions about unseen data. What is utterly remarkable is that prediction can underpin extraordinary creativity and mimicry. These developments have the potential to unleash an explosion of scale creativity -- delivering content design and production tools into the hands of the mass market that have hitherto only been available to large corporations with hefty budgets. Even now -- when we are still in the infancy of AI media generation -- there are demos, apps and subscription-based services to faceswap individuals into movies (see Zao), turn rough sketches into photorealistic images (try the GauGAN demo here), convert one voice into another (see Respeecher), personalise marketing videos (try the Synthesia demo here), age- and emotion-alter images (see Photoshop's new Neural Filters), generate face-synched videos of new or translated scripts (see Canny AI), play a video game with characters speaking any of 10 face-synched languages (see Cyberpunk 2077), and play a text-based adventure game with endless dialogue generated by AI (try out the free version of AI Dungeon here). Moreover, the same AI techniques will spawn new applications in a wide range of fields: advertising, architecture, interior design, gaming, song-writing, web design, education, even software development and pure mathematics -- in fact anywhere where structured or constrained creativity is key.

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