Having clear principles is important for the type of work we do. Artificial intelligence technologies are enabling massive disruption in video production, and with digitization, entirely new and exciting things become possible. But it also presents new challenges.
As a pioneering startup in the space, we are committed to building our product thoughtfully and responsibly, from the ground up. Below are some of our guiding principles.
1. We strive for transparency
Transparency is critical for building trustful relationships in our ecosystem, which includes talent, consumers and businesses.
It is especially important to maintain transparency when building and commercializing an emerging technology that not many people or businesses yet understand.
At HourOne we invite real human beings to join our platform as characters. We have a responsibility to ensure that people fully understand how their likeness is captured and used; how they will be protected; and how they can benefit from this process.
When we ask consumers to view our videos we regard it as critical to communicate the nature and the origin of the content they are viewing.
And when inviting businesses to work with us, transparency about our process and our practices is key. Businesses want to know who they are working with.
Transparency Principle: Disclosure
The person who is viewing the content is aware of the type of content that is being viewed - i.e. that it has been computer-generated. Each video must contain a disclosure within the frame indicating that the video has been generated using computers, versus a camera, to honor the user's right to know.
This disclosure is in fact mandated in HourOne’s commercial contracts. You will notice a generic "Altered Visuals'' watermark embedded in the video file, and soon, it will be embedded in HourOne's custom video player.
2. We are committed to Authorized Use:
It is vital that the person who is featured in the video has provided express permission for their likeness to be used and that the use of that person's likeness is limited to legal and safe content, within the bounds of what is agreed.
Systematic authorization is one of the things that distinguishes HourOne's technology from deepfakes, which typically do not have the consent of the person appearing in the content.
Authorized Use Principle: Contractual Agreements
HourOne has developed a unique contract to protect and empower the Talent’s interests and to ensure that they stand to gain in this emerging industry. This includes a unique contractual relationship with people whose likenesses are protected. Use of Talent's likeness is restricted to safe content (never illegal, unethical, divisive, religious, political or sexual), and for known personalities, use is restricted to personally approved use.
3. We are committed to being Human-first:
HourOne’s vision is to be Humankind's gateway into the digital realm. We believe in promoting human beings' role in an increasingly virtual world, and we are invested in safeguarding the future of work. We are building the character economy where businesses can directly access synthetic characters who are paid to appear in their commercial content.
Human-first Principle: Characters are compensated
HourOne’s Talent is compensated for their appearances in professional content. They are paid micropayments for each video contracted by a business. In a few years as the industry matures, we anticipate this to be a viable way of making a living. An important top line metric at HourOne is the average character rate (ACR), which is how much each character gets paid over time. This aligns our company goals with the interests of our Talent.