Ultra-realistic AI Avatars from Just 2 Minutes of Video: Snap alum's HeyGen

HeyGen’s AI avatars are now offered via the Canva design platform

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

August 16, 2023

2 Min Read
An AI avatar of HeyGen co-founder Joshua Xu. HeyGen offers AI-powered video content for marketers and newsrooms
An AI avatar of HeyGen co-founder Joshua XuHeyGen/ Joshua Xu

At a Glance

  • Former Snapchat engineer's startup unveils ultra-realistic AI avatars, mimicking human accents and speech.

A former software engineer from Snapchat has built a platform offering ultra-realistic avatars, capable of mimicking humans based on just two minutes of video.

Joshua Xu co-founded HeyGen with Wayne Liang in November 2020 to “reinvent visual storytelling.” Last week, he showed off his company’s Avatar 2.0 technology: AI-generated video clips showing representations of humans talking that mimic accents and speech patterns.

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Xu said the new avatars offer improved video quality and refined voice technology to match speech patterns more effectively.

Among the first to access the ultra-realistic avatar feature was Jesse Wellens, the popular YouTuber.

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A waitlist is open to access HeyGen’s ultra-realistic avatar feature. HeyGen requires just two minutes of video to create its AI-generated avatars.

Not everyone was enthused by the prospect of ultra-realistic avatars. A notable dissenter was Changpeng Zhao or CZ, the CEO and co-founder of the embattled crypto trading platform Binance. Reacting to the Jesse video, CZ said the prospect was “pretty scary from a video verification perspective” adding that it could impact trading even if individuals provide video proof.

Responding to CZ’s concerns, HeyGen CEO Xu said that the team at HeyGen is “learning and refining every step of the way” and invited the Binance CEO to share his insights on video verification possibilities.

Related:Text-to-Video Generative AI Models: The Definitive List

Make AI avatars via Canva

HeyGen (formerly Movio) already offers AI-powered avatars for marketing, creating explainer videos and newsrooms. The startup boasts Amazon, Accenture and Salesforce among its customers, according to the company’s website.

And now you can access its AI avatar tech via Canva, the popular design platform. Unveiled last week, HeyGen’s premium and custom AI avatars were made available on Canva. Users need to go to Canva Apps where they can upload a script and generate video content using various avatars.

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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