Just a week on from arrival of Luma AI's Dream Machine, another big OpenAI Sora has just landed – and Runway's latest AI video generator might be the most impressive one yet.

Runway was one of the original text-to-video pioneers, launching its Gen-2 model back in March 2023. But its new Gen-3 Alpha model, which will apparently be “available for everyone over the coming days”, takes things up several notches with new photo-realistic powers and promises of real-world physics.

The demo videos (which you can see below) showcase how versatile Runway's new AI model is, with the clips including realistic human faces, drone shots, simulations of handheld cameras and atmospheric dreamscapes. Runway says that all of them were generated with Gen-3 Alpha “with no modifications”.

Apparently, Gen-3 Alpha is also “the first of an upcoming series of models” that have been trained “on a new infrastructure built for large-scale multimodal training”. Interestingly, Runway added that the new AI tool “represents a significant step towards our goal of building General World Models”, which could create possibilities for gaming and more.

A 'General World Model' is one that effectively simulates an environment, including its physics – which is why one of the sample videos shows the reflections on a woman's face as she looks through a train window.

These tools won't just be for us to level-up our GIF games either – Runway says it's “been collaborating and partnering with leading entertainment and media organizations to create custom versions of Gen-3 Alpha”, which means tailored versions of the model for specific looks and styles. So expect to see this tech powering adverts, shorts and more very soon.

When can you try it?

A middle-aged sad bald man becomes happy as a wig of curly hair and sunglasses fall suddenly on his head

(Image credit: Runway)

Last week, Luma AI's Dream Machine arrived to give us a free AI video generator to dabble with, but Runway's Gen-3 Alpha model is more targeted towards the other end of the AI video scale. 

It's been developed in collaboration with pro video creators with that audience in mind, although Runway says it'll be “available for everyone over the coming days”. You can create a free account to try Runway's AI tools, though you'll need to pay a monthly subscription (starting from $ 12 per month, or around £10 / AU$ 18 a month) to get more credits.

You can create videos using text prompts – the clip above, for example, was made using the prompt “a middle-aged sad bald man becomes happy as a wig of curly hair and sunglasses fall suddenly on his head”. Alternatively, you can use still images or videos as a starting point.

The realism on show is simultaneously impressive and slightly terrifying, but Runway states that the model will be released with a new set of safeguards against misuse, including an “in-house visual moderation system” and C2PA (Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity) provenance standards. Let the AI video battles commence.

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