Introducing 'Pika', An AI-Powered 'Idea-To-Video' That Takes Aim At Tech Giants

Pika AI

It has only been about a year since generative AI took off.

At first, OpenAI debuted ChatGPT, and managed to captivate the world with the AI's abilities. Fast forward, pretty much all tech companies are experimenting with this technology, and many of them are either adopting ChatGPT, or create their own products to rival it.

From Google to Meta, to Stable Diffusion, Adobe Runway Stability AI and more, they have all created their own AI-powered generators.

And this time, it's Pika's turn.

While only months old, the AI startup, which has just raised $35 million to bring a total of $55 million in a series A round of funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, alongside earlier side rounds, has unveiled Pika 1.0.

The web-based platform, which has been built from earlier betas, has been improved to allow users to generate and edit videos in diverse styles such as 3D animation, anime or cinematic.

All from just text prompts.

Pika was founded by Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng, former Ph.D. students in Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab.

The first version of Pika was introduced in the late 2023 in the messaging app Discord. The product then underwent heavy development, and evolved to become a sophisticated tool.

Its earlier releases was popular enough that it was already generating millions of videos per week.

According to the company, its top users on Discord spent up to 10 hours a day creating videos with its offering.

And Pika 1.0, which is powered by a new AI model, is giving users an easy web interface instead of the Discord app.

It also allows users to create and edit higher-quality videos with simple text prompts.

All a user has to do is type in their request, by including the style envisioned, and let the AI create the results.

For instance, it could bring a meme to life or convert a cinematic video into an animated one.

Users can also upload the content and give text prompts to perform edits like expanding the canvas or aspect ratio of the clip, directing the model to predict content beyond the original video. It can even add new objects, props and characters to videos, delivering a whole new video creation experience.

Pika 1.0 can produce 3D animations, live-action content, cinematic videos and even change moving objects, with simple text prompts.

Besides text-to-video, Pika 1.0 will also support image-to-video and video-to-video capabilities, allowing users to transform their existing content into different video styles.

According Guo, who is the CEO of the company said in a statement:

"We know firsthand that making high-quality content is difficult and expensive, and we built Pika to give everyone, from home users to film professionals, the tools to bring high-quality video to life. Our vision is to enable anyone to be the director of their stories and to bring out the creator in all of us."

Pika 1.0 marks how rapidly evolving this generative AI industry is.

With the ability to generate and edit videos with ease, Pika 1.0 competes directly against offerings from the likes of Runway and Stability AI.

According to Pika, its product, which is already used by over half a million people, is open for sign-ups and will be gradually made available to users.

By allowing anyone to become a creative video director and producer, Pika essentially democratizes video production.

"Our vision for Pika is to enable everyone to be the director of their own stories and to bring out the creator in each of us," it said in its announcement.