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A relatively small artificial intelligence (AI) startup based in Bellevue, Washington has secured a strategic investment from Samsung Next that signals big ambitions to transform how video content is produced worldwide.
Irreverent Labs, founded in late 2021 by veteran tech entrepreneurs Rahul Sood and David Raskino, announced today that it has closed financing from Samsung Next, the South Korean electronics giant’s venture capital arm. The company had previously raised more than $45 million over two rounds.
While the size of the strategic investment was not disclosed, the partnership underscores Irreverent Labs’ ambition to bring its AI video generation technology to millions of Samsung device users globally.
“Samsung coming in at this stage is an opportunity for us to explore a distribution channel that we may not have access to otherwise,” said Rahul Sood, cofounder and CEO of Irreverent Labs, in a recent interview with VentureBeat.
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A video foundation model
The young startup, with just about 25 employees today, has been building highly advanced AI models to generate 3D animated videos from simple text prompts. Irreverent Labs said its upcoming “video foundation model” can seamlessly translate prompts into captivating 3D videos with an unprecedented level of quality and control.
Experts say the technology could significantly lower barriers for producing video entertainment, allowing amateurs and professionals alike to generate everything from video game concepts to short films. It may also raise concerns about potential misuse of realistic AI-generated video.
While Irreverent Labs plans to initially focus on gaming, creative professionals and studios, its partnership with Samsung Next signals ambitions to bring the technology to the masses. The startup aims to release a developer preview later this year.
“The opportunity to be embedded on Samsung devices is pretty significant for us,” Sood told VentureBeat. “Making it easy for people to take a series of photos and submit them to [our foundation model] to create a video is pretty interesting — and it will open up a ton of use cases for us that we have not yet discovered.”
With Samsung’s global reach, Irreverent Labs’ novel AI synthesis technology may soon wind up in millions of pockets and living rooms around the world. But experts caution the technology remains early and unproven, especially when it comes to generating longer, coherent video content safely.
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