Wasabi gets into AI-powered video content metadata generation

S3 cloud storage provider Wasabi is buying Curio for its AI-powered video content indexing technology, and will offer a focussed entertainment and media industry storage tier.

Wasabi has styled itself as a hyper-focussed cloud storage provider, offering a single tier of S3 storage with no extra tiers – such as deep archive or fast access offerings. That is about to change with the addition of a smart video content storage tier based on acquired Curio AI technology, IP and brand from GrayMeta.

David Friend, Wasabi
David Friend, Wasabi.

Wasabi CEO David Friend provided a statement: “A video archive without detailed metadata is like a library without a card catalog. This is where AI comes in. AI can find faces, logos, objects, and even specific voices. Without it, finding exactly the segments you are looking for requires tedious and time-consuming manual effort. The acquisition of Curio AI will allow us to revolutionize media storage.”

Up until now, videos stored in cloud object storage could have content metadata tags added manually – such as “3 minutes 10 seconds: foot fault” in a tennis match. With literally hundreds of thousands of stored videos, amounting to hundreds of exabytes of video archives, the problem of adding content metadata tags has been immense. Without such tags, the ability to find and re-use video content has been excessively difficult.

Curio’s AI technology scans videos and generates metadata about segments containing people, places, events, emotions, logos, landmarks, background audio and speech – which it can transcribe in more than 50 languages. It will change the status of effectively stranded segments to being online and searchable.

Aaron Edell.

GrayMeta CEO Aaron Edell will join Wasabi and become SVP for AI and Machine Learning. He boasted: “AI-powered storage will allow Wasabi customers to instantly find exactly what they need amongst millions of hours of footage and unleash the value in their archives. We believe this will be the most significant advance in the storage industry since the invention of object storage.”

Edell was GrayMeta’s first employee, returning as CEO and president in February last year after stints at AWS and Veritone. Eleven months later he’s off and taking Curio with him. Curio-skilled GrayMeta employees Jesse Graham,  Scott Sharp and Piotr Rojek will also move to Wasabi.

This Wasabi acquisition will prompt a flurry of similar initiatives to add AI-powered content metadata generation by other entertainment and media asset management suppliers, covering both video and still images. 

Wasabi did not reveal the terms of the Curio AI acquisition deal. Wasabi expects to unveil its Curio-powered service in the spring. GrayMeta will now be lead by ex-president and CEO Mark Gray, who is returning from retirement to take on the roles.