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Meta, Google, and startups flock to AI art’s economic potential

The trend: Big Tech is channeling investments into art-producing generative AI.

  • Building off its earlier Make-A-Scene generator, Meta’s AI division unveiled its Make-A-Video tool that can create short video clips from text prompts, per Popular Science.
  • Google announced its own text-to-video program, Imagen Video, which the company is pairing with its other text-to-video system, Phenaki, to achieve longer videos from longer written prompts, per TechCrunch.
  • The tools are part of a broader movement among tech organizations unleashing art-creating AI programs that began with the first text-to-image generator, DALL-E, in 2021.
  • Several startups are applying the tech to other forms of content creation, like music and podcasts.
  • In addition to the art-generating programs, tech companies are using generative AI to build chatbots that can converse with originality.

Analyst Take: “There’s a lot of interesting generative stuff happening right now in this so-called ‘second wave’ of AI,” said Jessica Lis, tech analyst at Insider Intelligence. “While it may seem sudden, it’s the result of incremental progress over the past few years.

“We are seeing a lot of product announcements from both startups and legacy players alike, but there are still a lot of questions to answer over ethical use.”

A revenue lifeline: The tech industry may be shelving moonshot projects and deep tech amid the economic downturn, but it’s keeping a laser focus on commercializing AI.

  • Unlike other deep tech, AI already yields tangible results for industries with significant room for growth in terms of innovation, new applications, and revenue potential.
  • Cloud computing providers and advanced GPU processor developers will likely be two primary beneficiaries since generative AI programs require a lot of computational power and data.
  • Sequoia Capital expects generative AI to “generate trillions of dollars of economic value.”

While many AI programs are used for data analysis, generative AI brings new things into existence.

  • This gives struggling tech companies more ways to provide value for their customers.
  • Beyond just offering data and insights, generative AI programs could yield potentially lucrative content creation mechanisms for advertising and other sectors.

More money, more problems: Generative AI opens up much-needed revenue streams for struggling tech companies, but expect ethical and legal liability concerns alongside profits.

  • We’re already seeing hints of this in the stock photo business with Getty Images and Shutterstock banning the use of AI-generated images over copyright concerns.
  • Reports about AI producing problematic content could amplify worry about generative adversarial networks (GANs)—the basis for generative AI—triggering an existential crisis for society.
  • With cloud computing’s data center proliferation already sucking up resources and fueling carbon emissions, broad commercial and consumer adoption of generative AI programs could become a sustainability pitfall.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.