An AI generated beer commercial would probably be less interesting if it wasn’t hinting that all those people-resembling images in it are eventually getting on fire.
What is a more nihilistic situation than being have to watch a commercial on a platform or during an event? Maybe, consciously choosing to watch a commercial while you’re actually not necessarily entertained by doing it? Now, there’s definitely even a much more nihilistic context that you can find yourself in: Being exposed to a commercial that is completely generated by AI technology.
Besides the aspect of nihilism regarding our individual lives, there is also the issue of AI’s impact on the future of our human civilization or whatever is left out of it. As AI generated media advances, some fear it could one day become indistinguishable from traditional media, leading to the destruction of society as we know it. However, recent developments suggest that we’re not quite there yet. A surreal AI generated beer commercial called “Synthetic Summer” has been making waves online, showcasing the potential of AI generated media without causing harm to society. The thought of an AI generated beer commercial may seem daunting, but “Synthetic Summer” proves that it can be both surreal and entertaining.
See if you can enjoy this AI generated beer commercial for yourself
The 30-second video was created by Helen Power and Chris Boyle of Privateisland.tv, a London-based production company. The video first appeared on Instagram about a week ago, and it quickly went viral. While the creators were unavailable for comment, it’s likely that they used Runway’s new Gen-2 AI model to create the video, which can generate short video clips based on written prompts. This technology, similar to how Stable Diffusion creates still images, demonstrates the incredible potential of AI generated media without the risks that many fear. With the rise of AI generated media, we may soon see more beer commercials that blur the line between reality and imagination.
An AI-focused video channel called Welcome.AI on YouTube shared the video:
The latest viral sensation on social media features a surreal scene of people partying at an American backyard barbecue while merging with impressionistic beer vessels. The soundtrack is set to Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” adding to the overall absurdity of the clip. The video showcases an impressive blend of familiar and otherworldly elements, with beer glasses morphing into beer cans and grills creating columnar fire tornadoes.
The video’s strange and uncanny visuals have captured the attention of many, sparking discussions about the potential of AI generated media. In a quite ironic manner, we see that AI generated, unreal but referring to our fellow “organic” humans, enjoying their cold beers, eventually find themselves in a sort of catastrophic atmosphere as flaming grills turn into a fire tornados across the yards creating an AI version of a surrealistic hell.
The future of AI generated video commercials
The video’s unique style comes from Runway’s new Gen-2 AI model, which creates short video clips based on written prompts. However, compared to still image AI synthesis models, video generators have a much smaller set of source material to work with and are computationally expensive to run. This results in a unique but limited impressionistic view of beer commercials that likely comes from absorbing the essence of a real beer commercial in Gen-2’s data set. While Runway has not disclosed the data set used to train Gen-2, an earlier model, Gen-1, used an internal dataset of 240M images and a custom dataset of 6.4M video clips.
In the world of artificial intelligence, creating even the most bizarre and alien clips still requires human effort. This is evident in the testing phase of Gen-2, which Privateisland.tv is currently experimenting with. Despite producing a few seconds of output, generating acceptable results still requires human persistence, as they sift through many iterations to pick the best clips. This was also the case for Synthetic Summer, where Privateisland.tv put together the clips they generated and added sound effects and music to produce the final product.
Meanwhile, the use of AI generated content for memetic purposes is not limited to beer commercials. Recently, a Twitter user known as “Pizza Later” created a video for a fictional restaurant named “Pepperoni Hug Spot” using largely AI generated content. The video features distorted clips of people eating pizza created by Runway’s Gen-2, a script generated by GPT-4, still images produced by Midjourney, and a voice-over provided by Eleven Labs. All these components were integrated using Adobe After Effects, resulting in a truly unique and fascinating video that showcases the capabilities of AI in creative endeavours.
Definitely wasted 3 hours of my life making this today… Everything is AI from the VO to the video and images. Assembled in After Effects. More info below. pic.twitter.com/CXv6gWM8gj
— Pizza Later (@Pizza_Later) April 24, 2023
The current state of generative AI suggests that it is not yet capable of captivating society with its own autonomously created memes. This is evident in the fact that humans are still heavily involved in the production process of these otherworldly creations. While some fear the potential of AI generated media, “Synthetic Summer” reminds us that technology can also be used for artistic expression. However, this reliance on human input may bring a sense of reassurance to some, knowing that the power of AI is still ultimately under human control – at least for now.