AI startup Runway has launched its first mobile app, allowing users to easily create AI videos in a variety of styles with their own phones. The app is currently only available for iOS, and users can download it for free from the App Store, but only a certain number of free credits are available each month.
Runway’s mobile app uses its Gen-1 model, which is a video-to-video generation AI model. Users can upload a video, then select a text, image or video as input and let the Gen-1 model transform the style of the video based on the input. For example, a user could upload a video of a bike ride in a park and then select a watercolour painting as input to make the video watercolour style. Or, a user could upload a movie clip and then select a picture of a cat as input to make the character in the video turn into a cat. it is somewhat similar to a filter, but unlike a filter, it will generate a completely new video as an output.
Of course, the output of this kind of generative AI is not perfect. Sometimes the objects in the video will be distorted, discoloured or blurred, but that’s what makes generative AI so much fun. Users can experiment with different inputs and see what kind of results they get, and Cristóbal Valenzuela, Runway’s CEO, says it’s important to make these tools available on mobile phones “because you can record a video directly with your phone and then tell the Gen-1 model how to transform that video. “
Currently, there are some limitations to Runway’s mobile app. For example, users cannot upload videos longer than five seconds, nor can they use some prohibited inputs. For example, users cannot generate nudity, copyright-protected works or sensitive content. Each video takes about two to three minutes to generate, and this time may be reduced as technology improves. Also, only Gen-1 models are currently available, but Valenzuela says that more advanced Gen-2 models will be added soon.
This kind of generative AI tool is not yet mature, but it shows the possibilities are endless. Like the ‘optical toys’ of the 19th century, they were the ancestors of modern photographic machines despite their limited capabilities, and Runway’s mobile app is one such toy that users may not be able to use for professional production work, but it is impossible to imagine the impact it could have in the future.