Navigating the Uncanny Valley: AI Video's Evolution and Impact in 2024

Now chat based AI is a new everyday norm for many people, will we see AI video make its way out of uncanny valley and into the mainstream this year?

Design, Digital, Artificial Intelligence, Brand Marketing, Content

Glenn Langridge 31 Jan 2024
3 mins

Unless you’ve chosen to simply ignore it, there is no doubt you’ve heard time and time again people telling you how important video is to a good content strategy.

Video until now has been the most time consuming, difficult and expensive form of content creation.

In late 2022, AI burst on the scene. It not only changed the way we write content, but also how we produced video as a result of rapid advancements in video AI.

Much like written AI, video AI has existed for many years. But it’s been fighting its way out of uncanny valley.

If that’s a new term for you, uncanny valley is when something looks so close to being real but just doesn’t feel quite right. Uncanny valley is really the last frontier between blending the lines between what is real and what is AI generated.

It leads to what I think will be a big question in 2024: Is AI increasingly being accepted as real?

Going back a few years I used to make presentations on social media and how it is perceived. An example I always liked was that in 2017, for the first time, more than half of people said that digital communication counted as conversation. It demonstrates to me that people’s interpretation of what is real or human can change.

Have a look at these two examples below that have been created by a platform called HeyGen.

The way it works is you program a digital avatar and then set it to work as your stand in actor.

As you scroll through social media, you might think that these are real people, especially if you don’t know them. But, on further inspection you can sort of tell (because of the uncanny valley effect) they are AI generated.

Importantly, this doesn’t distract from the message.

These are fun little videos of people playing around with the platform, but the implications are more far-reaching than that.

Previously, when you made a video, you needed an expert as a spokesperson. But now AI can create a digital avatar spokesperson.

It removed the need for the spokesperson to be good on camera and saves time by reducing production editing time and the need to schedule shooting times in diaries.

The barriers to video are rapidly decreasing and whenever barriers are reduced the volume of content goes up.

As that happens, social media platforms will struggle to optimise their algorithms to present meaningful content so that your experience on the platform remains positive and that you’re viewing things that really matter to you.

It will be interesting to follow how these social platforms treat digital avatars and AI video, especially seeing how some are adopting AI more than others.

Historically it’s been linked to scams, impersonation and harmful content, however in 2024 I expect to see this change to a slow acceptance for AI video and an overall improvement in its quality and use cases.

ChatGPT and text-based AI has become just another part of our lives, and next up is time for video to do the same.

Now, social media platforms must keep up and maintain strict guidelines to ensure that the good parts of AI are hitting their audiences and the bad parts are filtered.

And we, the users, need to retain a healthy scepticism for AI video to guard an increase in fake and misleading imagery and text.

So, in order to get the brain ticking, here are some possible use cases:

  • Hyper targeting your marketing efforts aligning video to specific demographics without multiple actors or set required;
  • Rapid content creation;
  • Education and learning courses.

In summary, there are a number of questions about how AI will evolve in 2024.

  • How will our acceptance of AI develop, and will this see wider adoption?
  • Will brands develop AI spokespeople?
  • How will social media platform algorithms treat digital AI?
  • When is it okay to use AI and when does the perception make it feel disingenuous?

Glenn Langridge More from author

Glenn is Purple’s Director of Digital, bringing together a wealth of digital-agency and leadership experience to deliver unique digital solutions for his clients, and empower his expert team to success.

Glenn has a proven track record of building award-winning digital campaigns, bridging the gap between marketing strategy and technical digital delivery for leading organisations across Australia, Singapore, London and the U.S.

His areas of expertise include digital strategy, website strategy, paid advertising and creative campaign planning, while always maintaining a results-driven focus across both strategy and execution for his clients.

Glenn is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an accredited Agile project management coach and holds a double degree in Commerce and Arts from The University of Western Australia. Glenn applies this knowledge and experience to build sustainable and well-informed strategies beyond technical considerations, while educating and innovating his clients along the way.

Glenn’s organised, considered and creative approach to digital project management has seen the successful delivery of more than 60 website projects, alongside the management of momentous campaigns for Notre Dame, Baker Tilly International, INX Software and Royal Flying.

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