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The Ethics of AI Video Generators: Pros and cons

Eliza Talvola


Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the way we create and consume content. It’s easy to see why AI is taking off, especially for marketers and digital content creators. According to a report by Salesforce, “Sixty-eight percent of marketers say they have a fully-defined AI strategy, up from 60% in 2021 and 57% in 2020.”


Today, there are tools for basically every aspect of a content marketer’s job from video SEO to caption and description writing, blog writing, video transcription, and more. Even entirely new visual content like photos and videos can be generated in minutes. AI video generators are on the rise, creating realistic and engaging videos on any subject from just a few text prompts. But while this technology has the potential to save content marketers and videographers hours of time, it raises a number of ethical concerns.

AI video generation is still a relatively new technology that has a long way to go. But as databases grow and more companies experiment and refine the technology, the quality can quickly take off. Before this happens, we can prepare ourselves by understanding the ethical implications of this technology and how we can create guidelines to produce ethical AI-generated videos.

In this blog post, we will explore the ethics of AI video generators. We will discuss their capabilities, how marketers are using this tool, the potential benefits and risks of this technology, how they compare to hands-on video makers, and what guidelines we can implement to use AI ethically.

Let’s dive in!

What is an AI video generator?

AI video generators are a type of machine learning technology that can create a variety of different videos from a few human inputs. Once given a few text prompts and direction, they can generate entirely new videos that capture realistic day-to-day scenes or fantastical sci-fi worlds. Here’s a compilation of AI-generated videos to show you just a slice of their capabilities:

There are many different AI video generators, each with their own capabilities and datasets. Popular video generators include:

Some AI video generators require longer text, such as a blog, video script, or transcript, to create videos whereas others require only a short sentence. While some have built-in editing tools for you to refine and edit your videos, others may not.

But these generators don’t just create visuals. Additional features that may be included in an AI video generator are:

  • Voice-over generators
  • Visuals to video
  • “Talking head” AI-generated human avatars (like those created by Synthesia)
  • Auto-captions

How do AI video generators work?

Before there were text-to-video generators, there were text-to-image generators. These tools use natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to create entirely new videos from scratch based on prompts. Oftentimes, they are trained on large datasets of existing videos and then learn to generate new videos based on patterns they find in the prompts and visuals.

However, because the output of text-to-video generators is much more dynamic than a single image, the conversion process is much more complicated. Essentially, the AI generator has to predict how the subject in an image will shift and move, and it has to produce multiple images in sequence to create motion.

Compared to text-to-image generators, text-to-video generators are still in their infancy. While they can easily create talking “avatars” and fictitious scenes, you can usually tell what’s AI-generated and what isn’t. So instead of creating entirely new videos, many companies are using AI to help “fill in the blanks” so to speak. For example, if stock video content falls short and you don’t have the time or budget to film new content, you can generate it with AI.

There’s no denying the influence and power of AI in the video creation process. However, as this content becomes more refined and harder to differentiate from “real” video content, it poses some unique ethical concerns.

Pros of AI video generators

AI video generators can be a powerful tool for creating high-quality content quickly. They can jumpstart your creativity, help you communicate more effectively, and reduce the time and costs needed to create unique video content. Before we dig into the risks of using this technology, let’s look at its benefits and why AI generators aren’t going anywhere.

Save time

One of the most compelling benefits of AI video generation is its ability to save content creators time. Having trained on massive collections of video content, these generators can mimic successful videos and create entirely new content in a matter of minutes.

This saves content creators time that would otherwise go to staging, lighting, hiring talent, directing, filming, editing, animation, and more. Even simple tasks like audio editing can be automated with AI to refine existing video content.

Save money by not working with an agency

For many companies, having an in-house video production team isn’t in the budget. But because consumers continue to seek out video content, the demand for video only increases.

On average, most video production companies charge between $100–$149 per hour to create a video. And with all the specialized tasks that go into producing a professional video, the hours really start to add up.

By using an online AI video generator, you’ll often pay a flat fee or monthly recurring subscription fee, meaning you can create multiple videos in a short period of time for a relatively low price. While there will always be a need for human inputs throughout the video production process, AI can lower the costs of doing work by reducing the amount of work that needs to be done.

AI video generators can create niche content

With AI, your vision isn’t limited – the possibilities are truly endless. Imagine you want your video to take place in a foreign country or feature an expensive car or piece of equipment. Creating this niche content can be extremely complicated and expensive. With AI, you can make it a reality.

They can help to democratize video creation

Video is here to stay. But without a beginner-friendly video maker, creating videos can be daunting and draining on your resources. These barriers to video creation hit small businesses and individuals especially hard, making it even harder for the businesses to grow.

With the right video tools, including AI video generators, video becomes much more attainable. AI generators can make it easier for small businesses and individuals to compete with companies with large marketing budgets.

Cons of AI video generators

There’s no denying that AI can make video creation more accessible and approachable regardless of skill level. Yet, although AI video generation is still a new field, discerning between real and AI-generated will only get more difficult from here. Without proper safeguards, you run the risk of misinformation, propaganda, and the manipulation of public opinion.

AI video generators can be used to create fake or misleading videos

AI has ushered in a new level of “deep fake” technology. It enables anybody to create hyper-realistic videos that can misrepresent people and events. AI can manipulate faces, alter speech and expressions, and create entirely fake videos from scratch. It can create seemingly authentic content in which a person is saying or doing things they never actually did.

On a small scale, businesses could use this to create fake testimonials. On a much larger scale, AI could impersonate CEOs and political leaders and share false messages. This can hurt a person’s or company’s reputation, mislead its employees, or potentially be used for harm.

As the technology develops, there will be an increasing need for methods to authenticate videos and identify artificial intelligence.

They could lead to job losses for human video editors and animators

Human creativity, artistic vision, and storytelling abilities are qualities that currently surpass AI capabilities. However, as the demand for more video and the capabilities of AI video generators grow, these jobs may be at risk. Video editors and animators may find it harder to compete with cost-effective AI tools if they do not use them to their advantage.

Bias and discrimination

AI video generators are trained on existing data, which can contain algorithmic biases and prejudices present in the training set. This tainted data set could lead to the generation of videos that perpetuate or amplify existing biases, stereotypes, or discriminatory content.

In order to overcome these biases, we need to first identify them. Then, we need to understand how AI picks up on these biases and applies them. Finally, we need to intervene and specifically train against them, potentially by introducing new data sets.

Legal and copyright issues

Businesses and early adopters who are dipping their toes into AI may run into issues with copyright laws and intellectual property rights. Although AI creates new content, it is based on existing content that is owned by someone else. Determining the ownership and attribution of such content can become complex, raising legal challenges in terms of accountability and fair use.

How to simplify the video creation process with AI

Today, most businesses rely on their own video content and stock video content to create videos. By using a combination of AI tools with easy to use video makers like Animoto, you can get the best of both worlds.

Intuitive video makers can empower anybody to create videos with drag-and-drop functionality, stock content, and simple editing tools. They allow video creators to use their own unique content as the basis of their videos.

These tools can be just as inexpensive as AI video generators, but they put the video creator in greater control over the outcome. By implementing other AI tools into the process, you can still save time and money and create 100% unique video content.

Here are just a few ways you can ethically incorporate AI into the video creation process:

  • Video scripts: Coming up with what to say is one of the hardest parts of creating a video. With generative AI writing tools like ChatGPT, you can tell it what your video is about and generate a video script in seconds. Here’s a guide to using prompts to generate a variety of different video scripts.
  • AI-generated images: Whenever your media library and stock content falls short, you can fill in the blanks with AI-generated images. Google’s Imagen can create detailed and highly-specific images with just a few prompts.
  • SEO optimization: AI can also take the work out of video SEO optimization. As video content becomes more and more prolific, getting your videos in front of the right audience will become increasingly difficult. With AI writers, you conduct keyword research, write descriptions, and more to improve the discoverability of your videos. Here’s a guide on how to SEO-optimize your videos with AI.
  • Transcripts: Video transcripts help make your video more accessible and SEO-optimized. Instead of transcribing your videos by hand, you can use AI to generate transcripts directly from your video file.
  • Audio refinement: You can use AI to remove background noise and refine the quality of your videos and audio tracks as well. Online tools allow you to upload and “clean” your audio to help your video sound more professional.

The ethics of AI video generators is a complex issue with no easy answers. However, the sooner we start thinking about these issues, the sooner we can develop guidelines for the use of this technology. As the technology and our cultural understanding of AI continues to develop, marketers and content creators can still adopt AI into their video strategies.

Create ethically-made videos with Animoto

By using beginner-friendly video makers and AI, anyone can create professional videos quickly, easily, and ethically.

Animoto’s drag-and-drop video maker and customizable templates, make video creation a breeze. And by using AI to get a jump start on your video script you can create a one-of-a-kind video that’s accurate, ethical, and engaging.