How To Build Generative AI Models Like OpenAI's Sora

Y Combinator
28 Mar 202434:05

TLDRThe transcript discusses the advancements in generative AI, highlighting the evolution from text-based models like GPT-4 to image generation and now video creation. It explores the capabilities of AI startups, such as Infinity AI, Synlab, and Sonado, which have leveraged limited resources to build impressive foundational models. The conversation delves into the technical aspects of AI models, including the combination of transformer and diffusion models, and the use of SpaceTime patches for video generation. The potential applications of AI in various fields, including robotics, biology, and software development, are also discussed, emphasizing the transformative impact of AI technology.


  • ๐Ÿš€ Advancements in generative AI are making sci-fi concepts possible, such as simulating real-world physics and creating high-definition, physics-accurate videos.
  • ๐ŸŽฅ The transition from text-based models like GPT-4 to image and video generation models represents a significant leap in AI capabilities.
  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ The accuracy of lip-syncing in AI-generated videos has greatly improved, making them more realistic and believable.
  • ๐Ÿค– AI models can now generate long-term visual consistency in videos, creating a seamless and continuous world experience.
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Despite impressive results, AI-generated videos still have imperfections, such as inaccurate environmental details or floating objects.
  • ๐Ÿง  The combination of transformer and diffusion models with a temporal component is a key innovation in video generation AI.
  • ๐Ÿ“Š YC companies have demonstrated that it's possible to build foundational AI models with limited resources and in a short timeframe.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก The use of synthetic data and clever hacks in data compression and computation are strategies used by YC companies to optimize AI model development.
  • ๐ŸŽต AI models are being applied to diverse fields like music composition and drug development, showcasing the versatility of generative AI.
  • ๐Ÿค– The potential applications of AI extend beyond entertainment to areas like biology, medicine, and engineering, offering innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • ๐ŸŒ The accessibility of AI knowledge and resources, even for those without a deep background in the field, is empowering a new wave of AI startups and innovations.

Q & A

  • What is the significance of the advancements in generative AI discussed in the podcast?

    -The advancements in generative AI, as discussed in the podcast, are significant because they represent a leap from text and image generation to video generation. This progress allows for the creation of realistic simulations, such as humanoid robots and natural environments, which were previously thought to be within the realm of science fiction.

  • How does the lip-syncing technology in the podcast example demonstrate the accuracy of the AI model?

    -The lip-syncing technology demonstrates the accuracy of the AI model by perfectly matching the mouth movements of the animated character with the audio, making it appear as if the character is genuinely speaking Hindi. This level of detail and precision was difficult to achieve with previous image models, highlighting a major advance in AI capabilities.

  • What are the key components of building foundational AI models according to the podcast?

    -The key components of building foundational AI models, as mentioned in the podcast, are data, compute, and expertise. These components are essential for training and fine-tuning the models to perform specific tasks and achieve high levels of accuracy and realism.

  • How did the Y Combinator (YC) batch companies manage to build impressive AI models with limited resources?

    -The Y Combinator batch companies managed to build impressive AI models with limited resources by using innovative strategies such as training their models on smaller datasets, utilizing synthetic data, and taking advantage of YC's dedicated GPU cluster. They also benefited from the expertise and community support provided by Y Combinator.

  • What is the role of synthetic data in training AI models as discussed in the podcast?

    -Synthetic data plays a crucial role in training AI models, especially when resources are limited. It allows companies to generate high-quality data sets for specific tasks, such as programming competitions in the case of Find, which can then be used to train AI models more efficiently and cost-effectively.

  • How does the podcast highlight the importance of expertise in the development of AI technologies?

    -The podcast highlights that expertise is not necessarily a prerequisite for success in AI development. It showcases examples of young founders and individuals without extensive backgrounds in machine learning who have successfully built impressive AI models by teaching themselves through research and experimentation.

  • What are some of the potential applications of AI's ability to simulate real-world physics discussed in the podcast?

    -The podcast discusses a range of potential applications for AI's ability to simulate real-world physics, including entertainment like film and video games, weather prediction, biology and drug discovery, human brain modeling, robotics, and even software design through AI models that can predict the outcomes of physical simulations.

  • How does the podcast address the challenge of simulating fluid dynamics in AI models?

    -The podcast acknowledges that simulating fluid dynamics, such as waves, is challenging in AI models. It notes that while the current models can produce visually similar effects, they are not yet perfect and can appear static or disjointed at times, indicating that this is an area of ongoing research and development.

  • What is the significance of the 'SpaceTime patches' used in training the AI model as described in the podcast?

    -SpaceTime patches are a key innovation used in training the AI model. They are essentially a 3x3 matrix of pixels that combine spatial and temporal information, allowing the model to create videos with long-term visual consistency. This approach enables the AI to generate่ฟž่ดฏ frames over time, which is crucial for realistic video generation.

  • How does the podcast suggest that AI models could be used to improve existing processes in various industries?

    -The podcast suggests that AI models could be used to improve existing processes in various industries by automating complex tasks, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs. For example, AI models can be used in CAD design to make predictions faster and cheaper, in drug discovery to create new molecules, and in robotics to create more realistic simulations for development and testing.

  • What is the role of transformer and diffusion models in the development of AI technologies as discussed in the podcast?

    -Transformer and diffusion models play a crucial role in the development of AI technologies. Transformer models, which have been primarily used for text, are combined with diffusion models, which are used for image generation, to create more advanced AI capabilities. This combination, along with the addition of a temporal component, allows for the creation of video content and simulations that were not previously possible.



๐Ÿค– Advancements in Sci-Fi and AI - Simulating Real World Physics

The paragraph discusses the exciting intersection of science fiction and artificial intelligence, highlighting how concepts once relegated to the realm of imagination are now becoming possible. It delves into the remarkable precision of lip-syncing technology and the creation of foundation models by Y Combinator (YC) companies with limited resources. The discussion also touches on the impressive capabilities of AI in understanding and simulating real-world physics, as demonstrated by a 21-year-old college graduate who built a model by immersing himself in AI research papers.


๐ŸŽฅ Behind the Scenes of Sora's AI Video Generation

This section provides insights into the workings of Sora, an AI video generation platform, and its underlying technology. It explains the combination of transformer and diffusion models to create videos with temporal consistency. The discussion highlights the use of SpaceTime patches, which are video equivalents of tokens, and the training process involving videos. It also acknowledges the foundational work by Google and OpenAI in the field, the challenges of simulating fluid dynamics, and the importance of visual consistency in generated videos.


๐Ÿš€ YC Companies and the Art of Building Foundation Models

The paragraph explores how Y Combinator companies manage to build foundational models with limited resources. It showcases examples of companies that have achieved impressive results with just $500,000 in funding. The discussion includes strategies such as fine-tuning existing models, using synthetic data, and leveraging YC's dedicated GPU cluster to accelerate development. The segment emphasizes the accessibility of AI technology and the potential for innovative applications across various industries.


๐ŸŽถ Sonado: AI-Powered Music Creation

This section introduces Sonado, a company from the YC batch that specializes in text-to-song AI models. Sonado allows users to input lyrics and specify a performer, with the AI generating a song accordingly. The founders, despite their young age and lack of extensive machine learning experience, have created a high-quality model. The discussion also touches on the broader implications of AI in music creation and the potential for AI to revolutionize the industry.


๐Ÿง  AI in Neuroscience and EEG Prediction

The paragraph discusses the application of AI in neuroscience, specifically in predicting EEG signals. Companies like Pyramidal are building foundational models for the human brain, which could have significant implications for predicting strokes and understanding brain activity. The discussion highlights the innovative approaches these companies take to train their models efficiently, such as chunking SpaceTime data and leveraging expertise in the field to optimize computation.


๐Ÿค–๐ŸŒ Real World Applications of AI - From Sci-Fi to Reality

This section delves into the vast potential applications of AI in simulating the real world, beyond just entertainment. It discusses how AI can be used in weather prediction, biology, and even in creating new drugs and gene therapies. The discussion also touches on the evolution of AI, from its early days at OpenAI to its current state, and the possibility of AI-powered robots becoming a reality. The segment emphasizes the transformative impact of AI across various fields.


๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Playground and the Potential of AI in Specialized Verticals

The final paragraph highlights the story of Playground, a company that pivoted into AI and has since produced models that compete with well-funded entities like OpenAI. The founder, Sujal Doshi, exemplifies the possibility for individuals to enter the AI field and make significant contributions. The discussion encourages startups to explore AI applications in niche areas and emphasizes that with dedication and learning, it's possible to be at the cutting edge of AI technology.



๐Ÿ’กGenerative AI

Generative AI refers to the branch of artificial intelligence focused on creating new content, such as text, images, or videos, based on patterns learned from existing data. In the context of the video, generative AI is the driving force behind the creation of deepfake videos, image generation, and video simulations that mimic real-world physics, showcasing its potential in various applications from entertainment to scientific research.

๐Ÿ’กPhysics Simulation

Physics simulation involves using computational models to replicate the physical behaviors of objects in a virtual environment. In the video, the discussion around physics simulation pertains to the accuracy and believability of movements in AI-generated videos, such as the walking patterns of a robot or a golden retriever, which are essential for creating realistic virtual scenarios.

๐Ÿ’กTransformer Model

A transformer model is a type of deep learning architecture that has been widely used for natural language processing tasks. It is known for its ability to handle sequential data and capture the dependencies between elements in the data. In the video, the transformer model is highlighted as a foundational component combined with other technologies to create advanced generative AI systems.

๐Ÿ’กSpaceTime Patches

SpaceTime Patches are a concept used in training AI models to recognize and process sequences of data across time and space. They are essentially a grid of pixels that capture both spatial and temporal information, allowing the model to understand the continuity between frames in a video. This concept is crucial for maintaining visual consistency in generated videos.


A deepfake is a synthetic media, usually a video or audio, where a person's likeness is replaced with someone else's using AI. The term is often associated with manipulated content that can create highly realistic but fake representations of individuals. In the video, deepfakes are discussed as a potential application of generative AI, where AI replicas of people like Elon Musk can be created to generate videos with customized content.

๐Ÿ’กY Combinator (YC)

Y Combinator (YC) is a startup accelerator that provides seed money, resources, and mentorship to early-stage startups. It is known for its intensive program that helps startups refine their ideas, write code, and pitch to investors. In the video, YC is highlighted as a platform that enables companies with limited resources to build and train sophisticated AI models.

๐Ÿ’กAI Ethics

AI Ethics refers to the set of moral principles and guidelines that govern the development and use of AI technologies. It addresses issues such as fairness, accountability, transparency, and the potential impacts of AI on society. In the video, while not explicitly mentioned, the concept of deepfakes and the creation of AI replicas raises ethical considerations around consent, misinformation, and the potential for abuse.

๐Ÿ’กFoundation Models

Foundation models are large-scale AI models that are pre-trained on massive datasets and can be fine-tuned for various downstream tasks. They serve as a base for building applications and solving problems across different domains. In the video, foundation models are central to the discussion, as they form the basis for the generative AI capabilities showcased.


Synlab, as described in the video, is an API that specializes in real-time lip syncing using AI. This technology can synchronize the mouth movements of a character or individual in a video to match the audio, creating a more immersive and realistic experience for viewers.


Sonado, according to the video, is a company that has developed a text-to-song model, which can create music by taking lyrics and specifying an artist's style for the performance. This showcases the versatility of AI in creative tasks, such as composing personalized music.

๐Ÿ’กAI Research

AI Research encompasses the scientific study and development of AI technologies, algorithms, and applications. It involves exploring new techniques, improving existing methods, and understanding the implications of AI advancements. In the video, AI research is implicitly discussed through the various AI technologies and models that the companies are building and utilizing.


Sci-Fi concepts becoming possible with AI advancements in simulating real-world physics.

The development of generative AI, evolving from text models like GPT-4 to image generation and now video generation.

The impressive lip-syncing accuracy in AI-generated videos, demonstrating the technology's ability to closely mimic human speech.

YC companies managing to build foundational AI models with limited resources, showing innovation in data, compute, and expertise.

The example of a 21-year-old new college graduate developing an AI model in just 2 months, emphasizing the accessibility of AI education.

The use of SpaceTime patches in training AI models, a method that enhances the temporal consistency between video frames.

The potential of AI in various fields like robotics, biology, and even creating new drugs through generative models.

The importance of high-quality, not necessarily large, datasets for training efficient AI models.

The application of AI in creating co-pilots for hardware and software development, showcasing AI's versatility.

The concept of synthetic data being used effectively in AI training, despite initial skepticism.

The potential for AI to revolutionize industries by providing more efficient and cost-effective solutions than traditional methods.

The example of a company using AI to predict EEG signals, opening up possibilities for medical applications.

The idea of AI being used in creating new molecules for drugs and gene therapies, pushing the boundaries of biotechnology.

The impact of AI on the entertainment industry, such as generating films or video games with realistic simulations.

The potential for AI to simulate and improve real-world applications beyond entertainment, like weather prediction and structural design.

The inspiring story of a founder who self-taught AI and pivoted his company into the field, achieving impressive results.

The message that with dedication and learning, it's possible to be on the cutting edge of AI without extensive resources or background.