Sparkworks Holiday 2023

We love experimenting with our holiday video and with all the buzz around AI this year we thought, “Why not jump on the bandwagon? AI is the future, right? Fast, cost-effective, and superior? Well, let’s put that to the test!”

This year’s holiday extravaganza was an AI-powered spectacle. The script was penned by ChatGPT, the voices were crafted by the almost-human-sounding Elevenlabs, and the character animations were conjured by the magical d-id.

ChatGPT was the star of the show, churning out script lines like a seasoned comedy writer on a caffeine high. We gave it a prompt with the topic, characters, length, and a plea for humor. Sure, it took a few revisions (who knew AI could be so sensitive to feedback?), but it was quicker than convincing humans to agree on a lunch spot.

The voice synthesis was also impressive, after we fed it a minute of our voices and the script. It was mostly spot on, albeit a tad awkward at times.

Pairing the audio with the character animator was where things started to go off the rails. We uploaded a single photo of each of us, and it shows. While there are higher-quality options available, it would have been slower and cost more than filming in real life

The first draft of the video was super creepy. So creepy that we considered scrapping the whole thing. Afterall, the goal is to send holiday cheer, not fear, Enter the humans. 

With AI, less is more. We trimmed the length down significantly which helped reduce the awkward pauses and cadence from of our AI bots. We also wanted to add some of our signature humor to the video, so we rewrote the ending. It was a good reminder that flexibility and adaptation can turn lemons to sweet lemonade.

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