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The disturbing beer commercial created by Artificial Intelligence, a new era for advertising?

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The disturbing beer commercial created by Artificial Intelligence, a new era for advertising?

The Most Viral AI-Generated Beer Commercial of 2023

An American beer commercial that has gone viral on social media has left many viewers scratching their heads. Despite being completely computer-generated, the advertisement has garnered a surprising amount of attention and commentary from the public.

Labeled as “Synthetic Summer,” the 30-second clip depicts a typical American backyard barbecue where attendees are seen enjoying beers with blue labels. However, upon closer inspection, viewers can spot the software markings that give away its artificial origin.

Created by Helen Power and Chris Boyle of the London-based production company, Privateisland.tv, the video was generated using Runway’s new Gen-2 AI model. According to reports, this new model specializes in crafting short video clips based on written instructions, bringing surreal visions to life.

Set against a backdrop of crowded backyard parties, the commercial features people virtually merging with beer glasses, cans morphing out of nowhere, and grills exploding into fire tornadoes. This surreal and absurd take on a typical American beer commercial has left the internet collectively confused yet entertained.

However, experts are quick to remind viewers that AI video generators are still in their early stages. While AI synthesis models for still images have made significant progress, video generators remain relatively primitive and computationally expensive. Furthermore, videos like “Synthetic Summer” still require human intervention to evaluate images and achieve an acceptable final result.

So, while the rapid advancement of AI technology is undeniable, it is clear that there is still a long way to go before generative AI can independently captivate the world with its creations.

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In the meantime, “Synthetic Summer” serves as a fascinating demonstration of AI capabilities and opens up discussions about the future of AI-generated media.

Why Does It Seem so Strange to Us?

Today, AI video generators remain primitive. While their creators train the models, they work from a much smaller set of source material than still-image AI synthesis models, and the models are much more computationally expensive to run.

The impressionistic view of beer commercials probably comes from absorbing the essence of real beer advertising in the Gen-2 data set. Runway hasn’t revealed the dataset used to train Gen-2, but in the Gen-1 (an older model) paper, it cited “an internal dataset of 240 million images and a custom dataset of 6.4 million video clips”.

The Commercial Has a Trick

As Ars Technica reveals, Gen-2 is currently in a closed testing phase, and creating videos of this type still requires some human help to evaluate the images and achieve an acceptable result. Even so, the resulting clip only lasts a few seconds.

In the case of Synthetic Summer, Privateisland.tv generated the clips, selected the best ones, and put the segments together in a sequence, adding music and sound effects. That is, it has not been completely made by an AI.

Both these man-made and man-assembled pieces demonstrate that generative AI still has a long way to go before autonomously dazzling the masses with society-altering memes.

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