Runway unveils new hyper realistic AI video model Gen-3 Alpha


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New York City-based Runway ML, also known as Runway, was among the earliest startups to focus on realistic high-quality generative AI video creation models.

But following the debut of its Gen-1 model in February 2023 and Gen-2 in June 2023, the company has since seen its star occluded by other highly realistic AI video generators, namely OpenAI’s still-unreleased Sora model and Luma AI’s Dream Machine model released last week.

That changes today, however, as Runway is hitting back in the generative AI video wars in a big way: today, it announced Gen-3 Alpha, what it says is in a blog post is the “first of an upcoming series of models trained by Runway on a new infrastructure built for large-scale multimodal training,” and a “a step towards building General World Models,” or AI models that can “represent and simulate a wide range of situations and interactions, like those encountered in the real world.”

Gen-3 Alpha allows users to generate high-quality, detailed, highly realistic video clips of 10 seconds in length, with high precision and a range of emotional expressions and camera movements.

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No precise release date has yet been given for the model, with Runway only showing demo videos on its website and social account on X, and it is unclear if it will be available through Runway’s free tier or require a paid subscription to access (which starts at $15 per month or $144 per year).

Runway says in its blog post that Gen 3-Alpha is “trained jointly on videos and images,” and “was a collaborative effort from a cross-disciplinary team of research scientists, engineers, and artists,” though specific data sets have not yet been disclosed — following a trend of most other leading AI media generators who also don’t disclose precisely what data their models were trained on, and if any was procured through paid licensing deals or just scraped on the web.

Critics argue AI model makers should be paying the original creators of their training data through licensing deals and have even filed copyright infringement lawsuits to this effect, but AI model companies by and large take the stance that they are legally allowed to train on any publicly posted data.

Interestingly, Runway also notes that it has already been “collaborating and partnering with leading entertainment and media organizations to create custom versions of Gen-3,” which “allows for more stylistically controlled and consistent characters, and targets specific artistic and narrative requirements, among other features.”

No specific organizations are mentioned, but previously, filmmakers behind acclaimed and award-winning films such as Everything, Everywhere, All at Once and The People’s Joker have disclosed they used Runway to make effects for portions of their films.

Runway includes a form in its Gen-3 Alpha announcement inviting other organizations interested in getting their hands on custom versions of the new model to apply here. No price has been publicly posted for how much training a custom model costs.

We’ve reached out to Runway for additional information regarding some of these points and questions above and will update when we receive a response.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that Runway is not giving up the fight to be a dominant player or leader in the fast-moving gen AI video creation space.

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