Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Science

AI video avatar platform Synthesia raises $50 million in venture capital

By Jane Lanhee Lee

(Reuters) – Synthesia, a London-based artificial intelligence startup that creates video avatars of real people, said on Wednesday it raised $50 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, and other investors.

An increasing number of startups are creating such synthetic media and as they become more lifelike, funding is following.

For the announcement of the funding, Synthesia created a video on its platform that incorporates the technology.

The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and improve the technology, Synthesia said in a statement.

While there are concerns that such technology could be used for creating deep fakes, Victor Riparbelli, co-founder and CEO of Synthesia, said its avatars are mostly used for corporate videos. Accounting and consulting firm EY’s partners use their avatars for client communications and internal training. Riparbelli said Synthesia only creates avatars of people who have consented, he said.

Riparbelli declined to disclose revenue or the company’s valuation, but said Synthesia was growing “exponentially.”

“In 10, 15 years, the vision here is that you can create a Hollywood film on your laptop without the need for anything else than your imagination,” Riparbelli told Reuters.

(Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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