Descript Seeks to Make Video Editing Simpler with AI


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Apr 24, 2016
Video editing is notoriously difficult and time-consuming, but a startup called Descript says it has found a way to make it as easy as creating a document or spreadsheet: using AI, the newly redesigned Descript editor features a new Storyboard view that helps you create videos that are as easy to edit as a word processing document, with no timeline required.

“If you haven’t seen the original version of Descript, it’s basically an audio-video editor that transcribes everything, so you can edit media like you would edit a doc,” Descript CEO and founder Andrew Mason writes. “[But] we’re re-imagining the way that video editors are designed. So they’re no longer just for creative professionals, but a tool that’s in everyone’s communication toolkit — right next to docs and slides.”

The idea here is that traditional video editing tools will always be difficult, whether the editor is on your PC or in the cloud. And so Descript redesigned its own editor to use a new feature called scenes that lets you edit video, add visuals, and make other changes without needing to resort to a timeline. To me, this works a bit like Markdown or the Notion editor: you type a slash (“/”) and then can do things like add b-roll footage, titles, or text. “We use AI to re-imagine video editing in a way that could be both simple and powerful,” Mason says.

Mason also revealed that Descript has received a $50 million investment from the OpenAI Startup Fund, which is behind the DALL-E initiative. And this partnership will lead to even more AI-based tools coming to Descript in the next year, he says.

Descript is available in free, creator ($12 per user per month), pro ($24), and enterprise versions. You can learn more about this intriguing product on the Descript website.

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