: These Myspace founders have an AI startup

The co-founders of Myspace, who helped usher in the age of social media, have turned their sights to a new twist: an AI product that turns text into three- to four-second video clips.

“This is the first and only product that lets you create cinematic quality clips with your likeness,” Plai Labs chief executive Chris DeWolfe said in an interview. “This company follows the course of what we have done since Myspace in communicating via social media and mobile gaming at Jam City.

“We’ve set out to democratize storytelling,” DeWolfe added. “[Plai Labs] is the continuation of what we see as the future of storytelling.”

Plai Labs’ text-to-video approach is different than others in that customers can upload a selfie, type in a few words, and generate a short-form video with their likeness as part of the story. One example, called “1970s male disco dancer,” generates a prancing animated video with a photo of the user.

Built on a proprietary AI platform code-named Orchestra, the PlaiDay product lets a designer or product manager create complex AI capabilities without the need of a pricey engineering team. Plai Labs plans to share the platform with developers and businesses in the coming months.

Flush with $32 million in funding from a16z, Coinbase, Crush Ventures and UTA, the Plai Labs — CEO DeWolfe, Chief Technology Officer Aber Whitcomb, and executive Jim Benedetto — held similar roles at Myspace, which they co-founded.

The company plans to lengthen videos and add sound in the near future to “unlock the creativity of AI” for use in marketing campaigns and quick data analytics, Whitcomb said in an interview.

The 40-person startup, based in Culver City, joins a fledgling field of generative AI video tools, ranging from Alphabet Inc.’s Google’s

Imagen to Meta Platforms Inc.’s
Make-A-Video and OpenAI’s DALL-E 2.

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