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Runway ML, the New York City video AI startup backed by Google and Nvidia, continues to entrench itself in the marketplace of the future.
Today, the company announced it is partnering with Getty Images, one of the largest repositories of paid stock imagery and editorial imagery in the world, to develop a new generative AI video model: Runway <> Getty Images Model (RGM).
Here’s how Runway describes the collaboration in a blog post:
“This new Runway <> Getty Images Model (RGM) will provide a baseline model upon which companies can build their own custom models for the generation of video content. Runway enterprise customers will be able to fine-tune RGM using their own proprietary datasets. This enables companies in all fields — Hollywood studios, advertising, media, broadcasting, and more — to enhance their creative capabilities and provide new channels for video creation by powering entirely new content workflows and making it easy to craft delightful experiences tailored to enterprises’ styles and brand identities and to their unique audiences.“
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Later, the blog post states that: “Together, Runway and Getty Images will continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with AI and video generation, making it easier than ever for enterprises to produce professional, engaging, brand-aligned content. RGM will be available for commercial use in the coming months.”
Noteworthy for targeting major visual industries
The move is notable for several reasons:
- The backing of Getty Images adds a new layer of legitimacy to Runway ML’s AI capabilities and a new source of data for Runway ML to train its models on. Whether Getty Images photographers and contributors will be happy with their work being used to make AI products that could theoretically replace them remains to be seen. Most of Getty’s image contributors are independent and have licensing deals with the company but are not its employees. VentureBeat previously reported on the fact that Adobe Stock, a separate, rival stock image service, was clashing with its contributors over Adobe’s use of their imagery to train its Firefly AI models.
- By explicitly calling out Hollywood, advertising, and media as target industries for the new RGM model, Runway is clearly setting its sights on penetrating some of the biggest visual media industries in the world and becoming an entrenched part of the workflow in said sectors.
- The partnership comes at a time when Runway itself has been the subject of a copyright lawsuit by other artists for training on their work without their consent or compensation. Yet Getty is clearly not too worried about that suit overturning Runway’s technology.
The latest in some big moves by Runway
The partnership also comes on the heels of some major upgrades by Runway to its video-generating AI web-based software app, Gen-2, including a new motion brush that allows users to add select motion to different areas of a static image, new camera motions (that simulate a video camera’s POV allowing users to pan and tilt around a static image, adding cinematic motion to it), and an upgraded fidelity and realism of the resulting videos.
Whatever the partnership results in, it is clear that Runway is emerging as a leader in generative video AI even facing stiff competition from upstarts such as Pika, which just raised a $55 million funding round and announced its 1.0 video AI generator platform with limited, rolling availability.
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