Concept: London’s software startup Synthesia has launched an AI video avatar platform that can create professional videos from a text in different languages. The startup leverages AI technology to create visual chatbots, product demonstrations, and sales videos for enterprise clients. Synthesia claims that the new platform can create videos featuring an avatar that looks and feels like a real person. The startup enables the users to turn text or a slide deck presentation into a video complete with a talking avatar. The users can leverage existing AI-generated avatars created from the performance of actors and can also create their own in minutes by uploading videos. The platform also enables the users to upload a recording of their voice, which can be transformed to say anything the user wants.

Nature of Disruption: The platform has more than 40 plus avatars in its gallery and supports over 50 plus languages. The users can type in a script, add other components including text, images, and shapes, and can generate the video without any video creation or editing skills. After pasting in a video script, the platform generates a video rapidly with custom backgrounds and an avatar that mimics a person’s facial movements. The avatar also pronounces different phonemes, the units of speech distinguishing one word from another. The platform also enables the users to personalize video to specific consumer segments. The enterprise users leverage the tool to develop engaging and meaningful training and educational videos. The users also develop corporate communication videos using the Synthesia platform. The startup is also working on an API that allows the enterprises to connect the platform to their systems and distribute the video. The synthetic videos also have risk elements associated with them. Synthetic video creation tools can help fraudsters to create deepfakes, that remove a person in an existing video and replace them with someone else’s likeness. The platform is currently used by many major companies to create internal communications and client communication. EY leverages the Synthesia platform to generate videos for internal communications and client communication.

Outlook: The COVID-19 pandemic has made conventional filming difficult and risky. Also, conventional filming requires extensive scripts and incurs a high cost to create a video. Synthesia leverages AI technology to make the process of making video easy and affordable. The startup claims that its new platform can reduce the expense of creating a video and in 2020, it developed more than six million videos for over 4,000 clients. In December 2021, the startup generated $50M in Series B funding led by Kleiner Perkins with participation from GV, FirstMark Capital, LDV Capital, Seedcamp, MCC Ventures, and individual investors. It plans to use the funding to invest in advancing its core AI research to solve some of the hardest and most fundamental problems in AI and computer vision.

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