The Scoop: How OpenAI’s Sora video tool performs

Plus: What it’s like to rep a reality TV star; Oprah leaves WW.

How Sora performs

OpenAI rocked the world again after announcing its new generative AI video tool, Sora. While it’s not yet available to the general public and currently reserved for a select few testers and filmmakers, the Washington Post got a chance to put Sora through its paces.

The results are a mixed bag that shows just how advanced this technology is – and how far it has to go.

Some artificially created videos perfectly fool the eye. When asked to produce a drone shot of the Big Sur coastline, Sora created a place that did not exist – but unless you’re intimately, deeply familiar with that area, you’d never know it. The sunshine is perfectly angled, the rocks are craggy, the waves roll in just as they should. It wouldn’t look out of place in a nature documentary.



But Sora struggled in other places. Most notably, it seems to have difficulty when objects must interact with each other. A request for a 1930s-style clip of a person lighting a cigarette comes off as a piece of absurdist art with a perfectly rendered vintage businessman summoning smoke out of thin air — not   to the two cigarettes in his hand, but one which has appeared in his mouth. In another shot, a believable man in workout gear runs on a treadmill. The only problem? He’s running the wrong way on the machine.

There are more subtle issues, too: In a Holi crowd scene, background revelers merge and morph into one another. And the Post even flagged a potential copyright issue.

Why it matters: “The model is definitely not yet perfect,” Tim Brooks, OpenAI research scientist and co-lead on Sora, told the Post.

The story and its examples provide a tantalizing look at the future – but one that’s not quite here yet. In addition to the visual hiccups, Sora can’t yet produce sound. At the moment – and it’s an early moment, to be clear – Sora’s best use seems to be providing B-roll or background footage that won’t be scrutinized too closely. As a focal point, the footage will quickly be pegged as AI-generated, which could lead to decreased trust among audiences.

There will come a day, likely soon, when these kinks will be ironed out. Then we’ll have hard choices to make about when we continue to pursue what’s real and when we take the easy way out and reach for the artificial.

Editor’s Top Picks:

  • In other OpenAI news, Elon Musk sued the tech innovator and CEO Sam Altman for breaching its founding principles by “maximising profits” over benefiting humanity, the BBC reported. Musk was one of three co-founders of the non-profit corporation, though he left after just three years and now his xAI Grok is a rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Furthering this clash of the tech titans, Microsoft is a major backer of OpenAI and is all but certain to wind up pulled into the suit somehow. It’s a reminder of just how early in the development of this new class of technology we are and how messy and muddled things will get before the horizon clears.
  • In the wake of a cringe-inducing New York Times Magazine interview with reality TV show Tom Sandoval of “Vanderpump Rules” fame in which he compared his affair to the murder of George Floyd and said he was more reviled than convicted rapist Danny Masterson, several publicists to the reality stars spoke about just how difficult it can be to corral these unpredictable clients. Some advice was conventional, such as heavily researching the outlet, prepping a client extensively and urging them to take a page from Aaron Burr and “talk less, smile more.” One, however, said she prefers her reality TV clients only interview with outlets who will allow her to be involved in editing the final product – a move which would sharply limit the number of outlets available.
  • Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, after nine years, NBC News reported. Winfrey has been public for decades about her struggles with her weight, and says she intends to remain an active part of the conversation. While both sides were cordial and positive about their past and future relationship, her departure sent the company’s stock cratering. Winfrey said she used new weight loss drugs as a maintenance tool – pharmaceuticals which also threaten WW’s more traditional weight loss model. Combined with the loss of Winfrey’s star power, it could be a very challenging season for WW.

Allison Carter is editor-in-chief of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


PR Daily News Feed

Sign up to receive the latest articles from PR Daily directly in your inbox.