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As I began writing this blog, I decided to opt for some AI inspiration. So, naturally, I put on The Terminator, or rather, the last thing we want out of AI — a machine that becomes sentient, oppressive, and vindictive. Draconian futuristic depictions aside, the age of artificial intelligence is upon us. Though it has been here for years in some form, it’s been more prominent in the business and creative world with recent advances in programs such as ChatGPT, Runway AI, and Midjourney.

Recent headlines say AI will replace jobs, but what it will really replace is inefficiencies for those who adopt. And adopt early because it’s moving fast. With an estimated annual growth rate of 37.3%, there’s no reason to ignore these new tools, albeit eerily similar to Skynet. Because that’s exactly what they are, tools. They’re akin to spellcheck in word or voice commands on your phone; they simplify, smarten, and shorten a process. With the recent videos that have been popping up, I decided what any reasonable video-centric person would do and created a video using only AI.

Before entangling ourselves in my limited knowledge of this world and its future, let’s take a look at the video I created. Let me explain which platforms I used and allow you to decipher how you can use these tools in your everyday life.

AI generated commercial for Perkatory Coffee.

AI Script with ChatGPT

My first stop was to write a script with ChatGPT, a text generator, which I think is the most broadly useful tool here. I prompted it with “What is ChatGPT”, and this is its response:

“ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI, it stands for “Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer”. ChatGPT is designed to process and generate human-like text based on the input it receives. It can understand context, respond to questions, engage in conversations, and generate creative texts.”

I see it more as a “get a point on the wall” type of tool to help get things started. Treat it like a brainstorming partner or a stranger you met at an airport bar that you’ve asked their opinion on your latest script idea…and if they can help generate some new lines.

For my video, I asked ChatGPT to come up with a list of funny coffee brand names, then after choosing one I liked, in this case “Perk-atory Coffee”, I asked it to write a script coupled with visuals for a commercial. What came back was impressive, but it needed some help. So, I prompted it more to refine the script closer to what I wanted, then finished it myself to add a human touch.

ChatGPT ideation of brand name ideas.
ChatGPT writes a screen play.

Video Generation with Runway AI

Next, I used Runway AI, a text to image-based generator. This technology is wild. The fact you can just type a description of a scene you want and it creates 4-second video clips, albeit a bit terrifying and mutated, is amazing.  I don’t think the video generated is quite usable in the real world just yet, as there are some kinks to work out and, overall, it just looks wonky. But it created some near realistic scenarios the more descriptive I got with the scene, such as “A man is sitting in his kitchen drinking coffee, the sun is shining through the window while ghosts float around him who are also drinking coffee” to match this great voiceover line ChatGPT created: “Feel the spirits of coffee enthusiasts past, swirling around you as you savor each sip.” As you can see in the video, there are some decent results, though some edge on a trippy horror movie.

Prompt used to created AI video assets
Sample preview of AI generated video.

Voice Over Generation with ElevenLabs

Finally, I needed to create a voiceover. Using ElevenLabs, a generative text to speech and voice cloning software, I simply pasted my script, chose a voice actor, and it created one in seconds. And as if the video needed to be even more off-kilter, I chose a Swedish-accented woman to add to the mystery around Perk-atory Coffee.

AI interface used to create the AI voice over.

There are plenty of other AI tools out there I could’ve used, such as Midjourney for text to image or an AI music platform called Soundraw, but I already had what I needed for the edit. So, I did a little cutting and pasting, added background music and sound effects, and Perk-atory came to life…for eternity.

AI is creating an entirely new perspective and streamlining the creative process for me; I hope it can help you in some way. I can only imagine how far this will go in a few years’ time given the advances in 2023 alone. So go ahead, embrace AI and add it to your toolbox. Just don’t be upset when your teacher gives you an F for using ChatGPT to write an entire essay that lacks any human emotion…because AI is artificial after all, right?