/// How to Make Lots of Web Video, Really Fast: Get Rid of (Most of) the Humans

October 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital


Heads up, professional video-makers: Robots may be coming for your jobs. We’ve already seen that software can replace human beings who used to write and edit news stories . Now Wochit , an Israeli-born startup, is trying to do the same thing with thing with video news. And it’s quite possible you’ve seen some of their work already: Wochit’s stuff is running on big portals like Yahoo , and on many smaller sites, via distributors like Grab Media. Wochit can takes pre-written stories from outlets like Reuters and turn them into videos, by assembling an appropriate mix of images, clips and narration. Human beings touch the video twice during a production — once, when a “moderator” quickly scans the clip to make sure the basic elements are in the right place, and once when someone reads the voice-over copy. Wochit says the entire process takes an average of 10 minutes, and that lets the company make hundreds of clips a day. The results have been getting better throughout the year. Now they’re quite passable. Here’s how Wochit handled a story about President Obama and the Too Big to Fail banks this morning: No one’s going to mistake this stuff for a “60 Minutes” report. But depending on the use case, it may certainly be good enough. Wochit is aimed at Web video, where lots of people are looking ad-friendly clips that users might also click on. But in the not-so-distant future, I can see this stuff working on conventional TV too. Eventually, Wochit CEO McAllister says, the company wants to set up a self-service system where anyone could feed it text and get a usable video. If a brand like, um, All Things D wanted to add our own narration (or whatever), we could do that too. This is likely worrisome for some human beings who currently get paid to edit and produce news videos

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How to Make Lots of Web Video, Really Fast: Get Rid of (Most of) the Humans

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