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A new Latino startup wants to give Adobe a run for its money with AI. Photo: Depositphotos

The Latinx startup that will make Adobe sweat

Founded by Chileans in New York, Runaway adds the machine learning and AI to image editing and post-production processes. 

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The owners of Runway assure that we are witnessing a creative revolution that will allow artists to do things "impossible until now" and that they will lead it.

The company was founded in 2018 by three Chileans and develops digital tools for the creative industry with the latest technologies in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Last month, the startup closed a round of investments up to $10 million in the United States. 

The platform created by these entrepreneurs, which is already being used by many content creators, is a major innovation. Until now, despite the fact that artificial intelligence is being used effectively in many industries, the world of art and creativity has not managed to make the most of it. 

The idea for this new generation of creative tools, which aim to revolutionize the market just as Adobe did a decade ago, came about when Cristóbal Valenzuela, Alejandro Matamala and Anastasis Germanidis met in a graduate course at New York University (NYU) and put their heads together to work on a thesis project. 

The result was a cloud-based software that can automatically generate, modify and edit audiovisual content with AI algorithms that aims to democratize access and lower costs for users, while multiplying the speed at which images and audios are edited and distributed. 

In short, as one of its creators explained, they're making available the same level of detail and special effects that are only available to the big Hollywood production companies.

"We continue to create audiovisual content in the same way we have done for decades and that makes the process unnecessarily slow, expensive and difficult. With AI's algorithms, anyone can create hyper-realistic animations in seconds and edit them automatically," said Valenzuela.

"Something that only Hollywood or the big production companies and special effects have been able to do until now," he concluded.

Matamala also stressed that "if we put these tools in the hands of people who have never had access to them before, they will start thinking about new ways to produce art, generate content and tell stories."

A meteoric rise

The path to success of the Latinx startup began, as it could not be otherwise, when they published a tweet on social media asking users if they would use a tool like the one they were developing. 

Within a couple of days, engineers from Google and Facebook, media and universities contacted them showing interest in their work. 

The spark that ignited Runaway was off, and investment funds specializing in technology, such as Amplify Partners, continue to bid for the project 

Major bands like YACHT have also used the software to create the audiovisual content for their latest Grammy-nominated album. The company is also working on creating short films using AI and cooperating with filmmakers. 

Academics have even surrendered to them and Runaway has also established partnerships with MIT, UCLA, and NYU, and is being employed by three universities in the founders' native Chile.

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