Video editing app Captions releases AI edit feature that automatically adds effects to your video

Video editing app Captions, which is backed by a16z, Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital, has launched a new feature that takes an existing unedited video and adds custom graphics, zooms, music, sound effects, transitions and motion backgrounds based on the content.

There are a few restrictions for AI edit — it should be a vertical video of a person talking, with only one person in the frame.

The key part is that even if you don’t have such videos or that is not your style of video shooting, you can use Captions’ AI avatars to create a video with a short prompt and later feed that video to the AI edit feature to get a fully edited video in minutes with different transitions and effects.

Gaurav Misra, co-founder and CEO of Captions, told TechCrunch that when he left Snap in 2021, he thought about making the video-making process easier with the core purpose of communication.

“Our main goal has been allowing people to convey a message. If you think about the journey of what does it take to say what you want to say on video, it’s complicated. It starts with the idea of what do I actually want to say, preparing the script, recording the video and editing it to make the clip engaging,” he said in reference to the thinking behind building a pipeline of features using AI to create videos.

Utilizing AI to create videos

Misra said that with Captions, the company wants to provide three types of video recording tools to people. First, it aims to provide the best camera toolkit to aid recording. Second, it also offers editing tools like AI-powered corrections for manually recorded video. And finally, Captions features a generative tier where a user doesn’t have to record a video at all.

The company currently offers 12 AI characters. But going forward, the company wants to add three to four characters to its portfolio every week. Eventually, the goal for the startup is to let users create their own AI characters.

Misra sees these tools being used primarily for sales, marketing and communication channels by consumer-focused companies. Companies such as D-ID and Synthesia are allowing organizations to create digital avatars for videos. Earlier this month, TikTok also allowed creators to make AI avatars along with offering its own stock AI character for ads. Misra believes that Captions offers better quality, and you can access all video creation tools on the phone.

The tension between AI and creators

The Captions app’s feature set makes it really easy for people to create videos. We created the video below just with the prompt “Dangers of AI for creators” and tapped a few buttons for creation and edits. It’s kind of jarring to hear an AI avatar talk about the dangers of AI.

These tools make it easy for people to just flood social media and the internet in general with content, whether it is good or bad. This might create a problem of discoverability for creators who are putting in hours into creating content.

Misra acknowledged that this is a valid concern but thinks that people creating with AI tools will still have to make sure that video has good content and something that people are interested in.

“Mass production of content would be possible, but to stand out, you have to have a unique message or story, which will be where people will spend more of their time now. Kinda like how digital music enabled easier music creation without playing an instrument, but instead of lowering the quality of music, it just enabled more people to become musicians and raised the creativity bar,” he said.

The company is planning to release new features for its AI avatar-based video creations, such as a skit feature where two (or two of the same) avatars can talk to each other.


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