Today’s post is proof that automation and algorithms are no substitute for real people and creativity!

First of all, I’m not knocking Lumen5. Which is ‘a video creation platform powered by A.I. that enables anyone without training or experience to easily create engaging video content within minutes’.

I’ve tried it a couple of times (eg my post on alpine plants), and it’s a simple interface and yeah, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I picked some sentences from the blog post; uploaded my own photos to match; added some music from their free library; published it; uploaded it to my humble YouTube channel (set up to store my slideshows and animations); then embedded the YouTube URL in the blog post.

But it’s the A.I. bit that had me laughing this morning. Because (unasked), Lumen5 has twice now created potential slideshows from other blog posts, and emailed me the previews.

‘Smart Templates are videos made automatically for you from your RSS feeds’

That’s the ‘price’ of using something like Lumen5 for free: they can help themselves to your RSS feeds to offer you content, without being asked. If you are using a product/service without paying (there is a Pro plan), you have to accept things like that. You wouldn’t work for free, so why should they?

Thing, is, the slideshows are short, and of course, you can only fit a few words on to any one slide.
Lumen5 doesn’t use an entire blog post (nor do you, if you create your own slideshow): it picks out what its A.I. THINKS are key sentences.

And in the case of my fairytale post, it makes total nonsense!

This is what it reduced my post to:

Fairytales are part of Christmastime in the UK, in the form of pantomimes.
Anyway, December is a time for pantos, so here’s a new fairytale.
Once upon a time, far, far away, there was a corner of land where two witches held sway over the hard-working peasants.
If Rosa or Sylvia told a peasant to jump?
But one day, the emperor sent a message in the empire.
new spells it weakened the magic shield.
Until one day she awoke to find her fiefdom had shrunk, like the walls of a crusher moving inwards, or a puddle drying up in the sunshine.
Obviously, this is fiction, but even sci-fi movies have a ‘no living person’ bit in the credits.
clearly has a very low opinion.

And the images it has chosen to go with the text are bonkers, in that they don’t match the text at all!

(It also used the end credit for a history blog I created a slideshow for: again, robots can’t ‘think’: it just used the last settings).

You can see the result below. Would I recommend Lumen5? Yes, absolutely: but create your own, from scratch, choosing the text, images, and music. Don’t leave it to a ‘robot’!


Footnote: I’ve used the ‘featured image’ before, but it seemed perfect for this post.

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