Aug X Labs, known for the AI-powered video creation tool Augie, has developed a new product called Augie Storyteller. This consumer-centric tool allows individuals to transform their ideas into AI-crafted cinematic fables, offering a unique and enjoyable way to engage with artificial intelligence while creating compelling stories.
Since its launch in public beta in May, Augie has primarily targeted business uses. “It’s about helping people make, for the most part, promotional content,” Jeremy Toeman, Aug X Labs CEO tells me. “We see the use of it for promoting a business, a service, other content, etc…I don’t think Mr. Beast would use Augie, but I could see Mr. Beast’s production team using Augie.”
Disclaimer: Jeremy Toeman and I used to work together at Stage Two.
However, recognizing there are non-business use cases, the company built Augie Storyteller to let the general public “have fun with AI and make stories.” As Toeman told me: “This could be a Midjourney moment for some of them.” Consequentially, he hopes the experience will help people better understand AI and what it can do, just not in a “killing the planet kind of way.”
Building Your Own Bedtime Story
Remember when you asked your parents or guardian for bedtime stories when you were younger? Did you ever tell them exactly what kind of story you wanted? Sometimes it could be difficult to tell one on the spot. Augie Storyteller uses AI to churn out a script and a visual concept.
The AI makes a story fast when you tell it what you want. In my demo, Toeman mentioned that the stories are currently limited to 75 seconds, but he believes they might get longer—up to five minutes or even 10 minutes, which he thinks is just right for most uses of Augie Storyteller.
After that, you can choose a voice from different options to narrate your story. When you listen, the voice sounds like real people talking, not like a robot reading a script.
The final step is where the text is converted into a video. It’s here where you have granular control over every scene, such as swapping out images you don’t like and choosing from 120 video styles a la Instagram you want for the finished product. You can have it look like it’s a science-fiction film, something straight out of a video game or Minecraft, dystopian, or even a corporate ad.
Creative storytelling, right? Unfortunately, there is a technical limitation, though it’s no fault of Augie Storyteller. The tool uses Stable Diffusion’s API, but because it’s still research level, scene movement and animations are limited to two seconds. However, Toeman shares that Augie will eventually support other models.
“Our model is to work with other LLMs. So I’m sure you’re seeing, and even playing with some of the ones that can do a better job…We are sort of agnostic to it,” he explains. “Over time, as more and more APIs emerge, we will make it user-driven. You can choose the ones you want. You can have different price points. However the engines work, you’ll be able to use [them].”
The Augie Storyteller Creative Platform
While there are hundreds of styles users can choose for their videos, Toeman intimated Augie Storyteller could spawn a creator marketplace. He says one of Aug X Labs’ visions is to let users share their styles with the community. Perhaps it’s similar to Adobe Lightroom presets and Behance?
Whether these custom styles will help train the model Augie Storyteller uses is unclear. However, it would be smart to allow app users the ability to import their styles to ensure brand guidelines are met.
Another possibility would be if this app is used to create viral-like stories similar to what you see trending on TikTok and Instagram Stories. Would there be a video style equivalent to Måneskin’s “Beggin” that everyone wants to use in their stories?
What’s more, because Augie can create videos adaptable to any platform, could we soon see creators using Augie Storyteller to automate the entire video creation process? Those “Get Ready With Me” videos may be more easily produced just with a prompt, huh?
Lessons Learned in Gen AI Video Making
I asked Toeman what Aug X Labs has learned eight months after opening Augie up in public beta. “Honestly, all we’ve been doing is learning,” he says. He highlights that the usage during this time shows a clear vision for Augie.
“We sort of went at this with the vision of how do we make video a core component of the office suite,” Toeman conveys. “The office suite is like a thing you can type words, a thing you can make spreadsheets, and a thing you can make key presentations on. And not the single most valuable media type we know. So our vision is, how do we switch that around — get everybody video first and video comfortable? So far that thesis is holding up.”
Diving deeper, he lists some common use cases: explainers, tutorials, ads, and thought leadership videos. Toeman admits that many surprising applications emerge from users proactively reaching out to Aug X Labs.
He claims the AI video market is big enough that no single app will reign supreme. Instead, just like with traditional video creation, there will be bifurcation and we can expect to see dozens of tools servicing different needs.
Future of Augie
Augie has effectively positioned itself, carving out a niche between iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro, appealing particularly to the mid-market and enterprise segments. The tool has garnered attention from social media teams, with Toeman highlighting some users who “get it.”
Looking ahead, Augie and Augie Storyteller aim to incorporate an application layer ensuring brand-safe videos, cohesive styling, and enhanced productivity workflows, especially for collaborative efforts.
Toeman emphasizes the company’s commitment to its guiding principles, noting the validation of three key aspects of its vision:
- Firstly, the recognition that the future heavily involves video content;
- Secondly, the acknowledgment that AI serves as a valuable tool in overcoming challenges like the blank canvas effect; and
- Thirdly, the realization that users seek tools not only for efficiency but for accomplishing their specific objectives.
In essence, Aug X Labs appears to be taking the right steps to emerge as a promising player in the realm of AI video creation, poised to meet the demands of an increasingly visual-centric digital landscape.