How Tech Creates Near-Perfect Lip-Sync AI Videos

Updated: May 9


What is a Phoneme?

  • What is a Viseme?

  • Why are Lips & Language so Important with AI Video?

  • How are Computers Using NLP for Creating Video Content?

  • Seeing is Believing in Context

  • Can AI Technology Detect Deepfake Content?

  • Takeaways

Greetings folks! Today I want to touch on an essential part of the storytelling experience – lips & language. Most of us take speech and language for granted in online video content. Presenter-led videos are generally cut and dried. Or are they? If seeing is believing, then our job as professional marketers is to create a realistic and engaging presentation. One of the biggest challenges is lip-syncing with AI video. Let's take a look.


This exciting part of the video creation journey involves phonemes & visemes. Machine learning computer systems nowadays can generate visual content that is convincing and accurate. This tech has tremendous applications for business communications. Think of all the target markets that we can reach with AI video. It's phenomenal. But I digress; I want to briefly talk about the importance of visemes & phonemes as they pertain to creating engaging videos.


What is a Phoneme?


A phoneme is a micro-unit of language. Think of the word Telegraph – the 'T' sound in the word, or think of the word Space – and the 'Ace' sound at the end. There are innumerable examples of phonemes, and each one is associated with specific formations of the mouth and face. When we speak, we emphasize certain sounds with lip and facial movements. Since we are working with AI presenters, a.k.a., virtual humans, the words must be synchronized harmoniously with the visuals.


What is a Viseme?


A viseme is popularly defined as a speech sound that looks similar when lip-reading is being conducted. For example, lip readers may struggle to identify the precise sound that is intended when certain words are spoken. The visual signature of specific words may appear to be identical, although there are differences vis-a-vis timing & duration of the speech. Many linguists emphasize the importance of speech as visual and aural, i.e., bimodal medium.


Why are Lips & Language so Important with AI Video?


It's a question of authenticity, trust, & believability. Back in the day, many Asian movies were dubbed into English. Unfortunately, the dubbing quality was dubious at best and outright hilarious at its worst. There's no doubt about it: poor synchronization between lips and language detracts from the intended meaning and effect of the content. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about lips & language anymore. Our technical prowess nowadays is fully capable of generating near-perfect content.


Lip sync technology has advanced in recent years to the point where video editors can input, modify, or eliminate words seamlessly. A marketing script can be fed into a machine learning system and be perfectly spoken in any number of languages with virtual humans. The naked eye can't detect mouth movements, lip movements, facial features, or sounds out of place – simply because they are machine-generated. It's truly fascinating stuff.


How Are Computers Using NLP for Creating Video Content?

Natural Language Processing (NLP) has gotten tremendous traction over the years, and rightly so. According to IBM, 'Natural Language Processing (NLP) refers to the branch of computer science – and more specifically, the branch of artificial intelligence or AI – concerned with giving computers the ability to understand text and spoken words in much the same way human beings can….' For deeper insights into NLP, I recommend you read the full text on NLP. Click here for some insights, https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/natural-language-processing


AI in video creation is a relatively new phenomenon. However, various video creation platforms using AI are readily available. Customers need to input content, and the NLP algorithms automatically generate a storyboard from that. Some of these programs can even source audiovisual resources to add to the content. Other programs can source keywords and essential topics and then create video scripts for the content. As you can expect, there are numerous applications of this type of technology.


My focus as a marketing professional is business communication services, enhancing personal connections with clients and creating a compelling storytelling experience. It's a tall order, but it's easily done with the right all-in-one software. Now that computers can understand human natural language, we can interact with them. There are several areas where NLP is practical, notably relationship extraction, sentiment analysis, and speech recognition. All of this falls under the broad umbrella of cognitive science and AI.


Seeing Is Believing in Context

Every new technology is riddled with challenges, despite the groundbreaking advances it presents to us. A clear distinction has to be drawn. Some choose to deceive the public with deep-fake videos intentionally. Some marketers present virtual humans as brand ambassadors, company spokespeople, or the welcome wagon. The intent is critical. With synthetic media, there are different elements at play. We may or may not be aware that virtual humans are being used to relay a message, but the messaging matters, not the presenter.


Allow me to elaborate:


Suppose you want to use synthetic media to create an engaging, compelling, and exciting product journey video. You choose an AI video system to do precisely that. The lip-sync technology is perfect, the host presents beautifully, and the message is delivered with aplomb. In this instance, your company's product is the focal point, and the delivery mechanism is the virtual human. There is no deceptive element at play. However, if you were to create a Deepfake video using somebody else's likeness to say something they never said – that would be deception.



Source: https://youtu.be/cQ54GDm1eL0


The tech world is constantly wrestling with the concept of credibility. Trust in what we're seeing is being questioned, exacerbated now that we have all these powerful tools. There is an unspoken rule that governments, established businesses, and individuals use technology with integrity. But, of course, there is always a fringe element that usurps technology for misinformation, disseminating harmful content, or simply obfuscating fact from fiction. The goal is not to mislead the audience; it's to deliver a message with integrity. In the legitimate marketing world, all sorts of gobbledygook and jargon are used, but there is no criminal intent, slander, or heinous deception.


Can AI Technology Detect Deepfake Content?

We already know that AI technology is used to create presenter-led videos for marketing purposes and other applications. But can AI technology be used to detect Deepfake content? The answer is a resounding yes. Stanford University Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) contributor Edmund L. Andrews penned an interesting article on 13 October 2020. His paper focused on, 'Using AI To Detect Seemingly Perfect Deep-Fake Videos.' It is one of many powerful insights into this specific subject, and it focuses on lip-sync technology – the subject of today's post.


True to form, we can use computer systems to identify '80% of fakes by recognizing minute mismatches between the sounds people make in the shapes of their mouths’ – that's phonemes & visemes. Since most people won't be using sophisticated technology to determine whether the content they are viewing is authentic or fake, it boils down to increasing media literacy. Fortunately, much of this is irrelevant vis-a-vis business communication because the intent of the content is different. When there is integrity in marketing, the only issues are technical proficiency and delivery of the communique.


You can feel completely confident about using synthetic media in marketing communications. It's 100% legitimate, and it's surprisingly effective for relaying a message and driving interest for your company. I have found compelling storytelling is the number one way to engage audiences, pique their interest, and build better connections between your brand and your target market.


Key takeaways from today's post:

  • Present a clear message to your audience

  • Say what you mean and mean what you say

  • The intent and the focus of your message matter

  • Technology can create perfectly synchronized audiovisual content

Lip sync technology with AI video is a broad topic worthy of further analysis. We touched upon several aspects of this groundbreaking technology, notably Natural Language Processing (NLP), virtual humans, and storytelling. I would love to hear your insights on this topic. Have you used video in your marketing communique? How about an AI video? Kindly share your thoughts with our community of like-minded, future-oriented marketing aficionados.


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