😺 Runway Gen-3 Alpha

PLUS: ChatGPT went down...AGAIN

Welcome, humans.

ChatGPT took a brief hiatus yesterday afternoon (again), so we caught up with Gemini Advanced while waiting for it to reboot. BTW, Gemini Advanced is now ranked #2 on the LMSYS Chatbot Leaderboard, above GPT-4-Turbo and Claude 3 Opus.

We haven’t used Gemini much recently—the UX is still somewhat clunky compared to Chat, and it's prone to hallucinations whenever we request data retrieval from our GDocs and Gmail.

What we absolutely love about Gemini is its color scheme. Odd to mention, but the blue/purple/red mix is weirdly satisfying. Meanwhile, ChatGPT seems trapped in the 1930s with its black-and-white palette!

Here’s what you need to know about AI today:

  • Runway released Gen-3 Alpha, its best text-to-video model.

  • Google DeepMind shared tech that can add sound to AI video clips.

  • McDonald’s is shutting down its AI drive-thrus.

  • Most Neuron readers think GPT-4o is noticeably better than GPT-4.

AI Video: for fun and for real.

AI-generated videos have come a LONG way since the days of that barely recognizable, blurred clip of Will Smith eating spaghetti (have a look at this vid).

Back then, the best text-to-video model we had was Gen-2 by Runway, and it was, to put it politely, pretty basic.

But AI video is now having its DALL·E 3 moment (translation: it’s finally getting good).

First came Pika, which just raised $80M. Then Google announced Veo. Then came OpenAI’s Sora. Finally, last week we got Kling, the Chinese Sora, and Dream Machine by Luma AI.

Yesterday, Runway re-entered the scene with Gen-3 Alpha, its latest video model that’s better at creating detailed scenes, maintaining consistent characters, and delivering more lifelike faces, like this bald guy getting a new set of hair:

Pictured: Joe Rogan. (jk!)

Three treasured troves on Gen-3 Alpha:

  • You and I will get to try it in the next few days.

  • It’s more than just a text-to-video model—it enables the creation of videos from images and images from text. It allows you to tweak the videos in its creative suite (Luma announced comparable video editing capabilities yesterday).

  • The model is already being tailored for entertainment firms to offer “more stylistically controlled and consistent characters, and targets specific artistic and narrative requirements”. We wonder who it’s working with… Disney? Pixar? DreamWorks?

Music for these AI videos is also coming. Yesterday, Google DeepMind showed off a tech called V2A (video-to-audio) that can add sound effects to videos just by watching them—take a peek here.

In related news: TikTok announced a barrage of AI tools that make it easier to create videos called TikTok Symphony. It includes:

  • A chatbot assistant to help brainstorm ideas, find trends, and implement best practices.

  • A tool that literally turns your product assets into a complete TikTok video (these will be labeled as AI-generated).

    • You can dub these videos in 10+ languages, add stock avatars of real paid actors, or create your own custom avatars.

  • A bunch of new AI features to optimize video ads, like one that generates engaging scripts, subtitles, and voiceovers for your videos.

TikTok Symphony

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Around the Horn.

  • McDonald’s is discontinuing the AI that handles orders at its drive-throughs.

  • Perplexity is entering Japan with a SoftBank partnership.

  • r/ChatGPTPro: Compilation of creative ways people are using ChatGPT.

  • A new study found that freelance gigs in writing, software, graphic design, and 3D modeling have declined since ChatGPT’s debut.

Treats To Try.

  1. Constructor is an AI search engine that helps shoppers find products (raised $25M).

  2. Autify is an AI agent that aids software engineers in testing software end-to-end. Zenes is its offering for US customers (raised $24M).

  3. Human Native AI is developing a marketplace where AI companies can compensate publishers for their content data (raised $3M).

  4. Zeta Labs is building AI agents that can perform tasks in your browser (raised $2.9M).

  5. Olvy turns customer feedback into insights (& now has a Google Meet integration).

Tuesday Ticker.

Here are the results from last week’s poll:

  • C.W. said Much better: “Seems much better at longer, iterative tasks and the ability to feed it multiple mediums of context is a game changer”

  • F.F. said Slightly better: “Much faster response time, about the same quality in responses.”

  • K.B. said They’re equal: “In my regular day-to-day use, I just haven't noticed a tangible, measurable difference. But I'm not running benchmarks; I'm just trying to get stuff done.”

The most impressive AI video generator so far is...

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A Cat's Commentary.

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