Video Company Making it Possible For Anyone To Create Professional-looking AI-Inspired Video Content in Minutes

James Dargan

Synthetic Media

Having raised a total of $16.6 million in funding over three rounds (with VC backing from FirstMark Capital, Mark Cuban, Seedcamp, LDV Capital, MMC Ventures, Taavet Hinrikus to boast about) since its founding in 2017 by a team of researchers and entrepreneurs from UCL, Stanford, TUM, and Cambridge, Synthesia — an AI-driven system to generate audiovisual content startup trusted by the likes of Accenture, Nike, BBC, Google, Amazon and 4,000+ trusted companies — has upped its mission

to power the video-first internet: replace cameras with code & make everyone a creator

Everyone — or maybe those in Hollywood are still unaware — knows that the entertainment world is seismically changing, not only the film industry with streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV forcing the issue but in content creation, too, with innovations such as Deepfake technology part of the equation.

‘Synthetic media’ is a new term that describes image video, text and voice content that has been generated, partly or fully, by computers. This AI-driven approach to audiovisual content generation is changing the landscape and empowering content generators from around the world.

Synthesia

The London-based startup was founded by Lourdes Agapito, Matthias Niessner, Steffen Tjerrild, and Victor Riperbelli. Synthesia’s vision — then as now — is to create professional AI videos with a combination of technical, academic and entrepreneurial excellence.

Features of the platform, which is called Synthesia STUDIO, include:

• Text to video

• 50+ Languages

• 40+ AI avatars

• Custom avatars

• Custom backgrounds

• Audio uploads

• Background music and other cool stuff

So, for those content creators whose audiences are growing exponentially while demanding more and more, Synthesia and its toolbox is the obvious choice fashion engaging content that hooks the consumer.

“We’ve still only scratched the surface of the video economy. In 10 years we believe most of our digital experiences will be powered by video in some way or form. But to truly realize the video-first internet we need a more scalable and accessible way to make video.

Today, video production is costly, complex and unscalable. It requires studios, actors, cameras and post-production. It’s an incredibly long and multidisciplinary process, rooted in physical space and sensors.”

 — Victor Riparbelli, CEO and Co-founder, Synthesia

The great idea was the brainchild of the four co-founders, as follows:

A Forbes 30 Under 30, Victor Riparbelli is the CEO of Synthesia. A serial founder of startups, Riparbelli obtained a B.Sc. in Computer Science/Business Informatics from IT University of Copenhagen

Steffen Tjerrild is the CFO/COO at Synthesia and another important cog in the commercial considerations of the startup. Like his CEO, he is a Forbes 30 Under 30. With an MSc in Applied Economics and Finance from the Copenhagen Business School, prior to Synthesia Tjerrild had stints as a Business Developer and Investment Manager.

A Professor of 3D Computer Vision at University College London (UCL), Lourdes Agapito is — along with Matthias Niessner — Synthesia’s academic and technical steam. At UCL she leads a research group with a focus on 3D dynamic scene understanding from video.

Agapito is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the British Machine Vision Association.

Her research focuses on inferring 3D information from videos recorded from a single moving camera. Agapito’s early research focused on static scenes (structure from motion) but moved on to the challenging problem of estimating the 3D shape of moving non-rigid objects (“non-rigid structure from motion”). She has published numerous works on non-rigid structure from motion for deformable tracking, dense optical flow estimation, non-rigid video registration, 3D reconstruction of the deformable and articulated structure, and dense 3D modelling of non-rigid dynamic scenes.

She obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Matthias Niessner is a Professor of Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). As a member of the Max Planck Center for Visual Computing and Communication Junior Research Group Program, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford University, working in the lab of Pat Hanrahan.

Niessner was awarded a Google Faculty Research Award in 2017 for Photo-realistic Avatars from Videos: Free Viewpoint Animation of Human Faces, as well as a Rudolf Mössbauer Fellowship from the Technical University of Munich.

With work that focuses on 3D reconstruction and semantic scene understanding, Niessner’s best-known work is that on facial reenactment, which has been widely criticized for contributing to the ease with which fake news can be generated.

Niessner received a Ph.D. in Computer Graphics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

These technology entrepreneurs, strong in computer graphics and vision with the added benefit of a business-related skillset, can make Synthesia the best AI video generation platform out there, ultimately lowering the cost and time of producing videos for all and everyone.

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