1stAIMachine — Worlds first AI video hardware uses Runway ML

Developed by 1st AVE Machine.

1stAveMachine and SpecialGuestX release AI video hardware powered by Runway Gen-2.

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1stAIMachine has been announced by creative advertising agencies 1stAveMachine and SGX. The physical hardware will be the worlds first hardware designed specifically for video editing with AI. So, how does it work, and what can it do?

What is 1stAIMachine?

1stAIMachine, or 1st AI Machine, is marketed as the worlds first “AI video editing hardware”. By AI video editing, we mean using both AI-powered tools as well as AI-generated footage. The AI tools involved were developed by Runway ML (also stylized RunwayML), the worlds leading AI-generated video software.

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The new device is a collaboration between creative agencies 1stAveMachine of London, UK, and SGX of New York, US. The former is named after the iconic 1st Avenue, New York, where the agency is not based. The latter is short for SpecialGuestX, a creative technology agency “built to reinvent stories of brand innovation through AI, Data, Robotics and Automation”. Both agencies are headquartered in the same building!

There’s an opportunity here to release a new device called 1stAVEMachine, for audiovisual editing. Whether they’ve spotted this extremely easy tie-in is yet unclear.

Does Runway ML have hardware?

Yes, Runway ML has hardware for AI video editing! The “first AI editing board” allows the user to build a storyboard from uploaded images (static frames) and then uses Runway ML algorithms to animate these images. Generative AI turns still images into dynamic video compositions.

In the video which accompanied the announcement, still frames from popular movies Star Wars, Titanic, and The Godfather are processed and animated in real-time.

Runway released the most recent version of their flagship AI model, Runway Gen-2, on June 7th 2023. The generative video firm is self-described as “an applied AI research company shaping the next era of art, entertainment and human creativity.”

Steves final thoughts

While it may be tempting to produce your next major motion picture with generative AI, we can expect this to soon be on the radar of SAG-AFTRA. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is the largest American labor union in the entertainment industry. An ongoing strike between Hollywood and the labor union has AI at the centre — with generative AI fidelity improving at a rapid pace, actors are actively fighting against AI redundancy.

SpecialGuestX explains that “As of today, GEN-AIs are capable of generating hyper-realistic photos that are nearly indistinguishable from reality. However, videos are still in an earlier stage and far from perfect,” a distinction that will likely become obsolete within the decade. “Currently, the generated videos may contain errors and inconsistencies. However, given the rapid progress that GEN-AIs have made in recent months, we anticipate that the quality of videos will soon match that of photos. At that point, anyone will be able to create movies without the need for a camera, lights, or actors; they will simply interact with the AIs. A tool like 1stAI Machine anticipates that moment by exploring tangible interfaces that enhance creativity.”

Those last few sentences are cause for concern, at least for professional creatives of the entertainment industry. However, the progression of this technology is easy enough to keep an eye on — simply look at Runway Gen-2, the highest-quality algorithm so far. It can’t replace real footage just yet. Video is likely to be the last of the four modes — text, audio, image, and video — to reach hyperrealism. Until then, this technology actually represents a fun new opportunity for video creators.