How Krikey AI harnessed the power of Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth to accelerate generative AI development

This post is co-written with Jhanvi Shriram and Ketaki Shriram from Krikey.

Krikey AI is revolutionizing the world of 3D animation with their innovative platform that allows anyone to generate high-quality 3D animations using just text or video inputs, without needing any prior animation experience. At the core of Krikey AI’s offering is their powerful foundation model trained to understand human motion and translate text descriptions into realistic 3D character animations. However, building such a sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) model requires tremendous amounts of high-quality training data.

Krikey AI faced the daunting task of labeling a vast amount of data input containing body motions with descriptive text labels. Manually labeling this dataset in-house was impractical and prohibitively expensive for the startup. But without these rich labels, their customers would be severely limited in the animations they could generate from text inputs.

Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth is an AWS managed service that makes it straightforward and cost-effective to get high-quality labeled data for machine learning (ML) models by combining ML and expert human annotation. Krikey AI used SageMaker Ground Truth to expedite the development and implementation of their text-to-animation model. SageMaker Ground Truth provided and managed the labeling workforce, provided advanced data labeling workflows, and automated workflows for human-in-the-loop tasks, enabling Krikey AI to efficiently source precise labels tailored to their needs.

SageMaker Ground Truth Implementation

As a small startup working to democratize 3D animation through AI, Krikey AI faced the challenge of preparing a large labeled dataset to train their text-to-animation model. Manually labeling each data input with descriptive annotations proved incredibly time-consuming and impractical to do in-house at scale. With customer demand rapidly growing for their AI animation services, Krikey AI needed a way to quickly obtain high-quality labels across diverse and broad categories. Not having high-quality descriptive labels and tags would severely limit the animations their customers could generate from text inputs. Partnering with SageMaker Ground Truth provided the solution, allowing Krikey AI to efficiently source precise labels tailored to their needs.

SageMaker Ground Truth allows you to set up labeling workflows and use a private or vendor workforce for labeling or a sourced and managed workforce, along with additional features like data labeling workflows, to further accelerate and optimize the data labeling process. Krikey AI opted to use SageMaker Ground Truth to take advantage of its advanced data labeling workflows and model-assisted labeling capabilities, which further streamlined and optimized their large-scale labeling process for training their AI animation models. Data was stored in Amazon Simple Storage Solution (Amazon S3) and  AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) was used for data protection.

The SageMaker Ground Truth team provided a two-step solution to prepare high-quality training datasets for Krikey AI’s model. First, the team developed a custom labeling interface tailored to Krikey AI’s requirements. This interface enabled annotators to deliver accurate captions while maintaining high productivity levels. The user-friendly interface provided annotators with various options to add detailed and multiple descriptions, helping them implement comprehensive labeling of the data. The following screenshot shows an example.

Second, the team sourced and managed a workforce that met Krikey AI’s specific requirements. Krikey AI needed to quickly process a vast amount of data inputs with succinct and descriptive labels, tags, and keywords in English. Rapidly processing the large amount of data inputs allowed Krikey AI to enter the market quickly with their unique 3D animation platform.

Integral to Krikey AI’s successful partnership with SageMaker Ground Truth was the ability to frequently review and refine the labeling process. Krikey AI held weekly calls to examine sample labeled content and provide feedback to the SageMaker Ground Truth team. This allowed them to continuously update the guidelines for what constituted a high-quality descriptive label as they progressed through different categories. Having this depth of involvement and ability to recalibrate the labeling criteria was critical for making sure the precise, rich labels were captured across all their data, which wouldn’t have been possible for Krikey AI to achieve on their own.

The following diagram illustrates the SageMaker Ground Truth architecture.

Overall Architecture

Krikey AI built their AI-powered 3D animation platform using a comprehensive suite of AWS services. At the core, they use Amazon Simple Storage Solution (Amazon S3) for data storage, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) for running containerized applications, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for databases, Amazon ElastiCache for in-memory caching, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances for computing workloads. Their web application is developed using AWS Amplify. The critical component enabling their text-to-animation AI is SageMaker Ground Truth, which allows them to efficiently label a massive training dataset. This AWS infrastructure allows Krikey AI to serve their direct-to-consumer AI animation tool to customers globally and enables enterprise customers to deploy Krikey AI’s foundation models using Amazon SageMaker JumpStart, as well as self-host the no-code 3D animation editor within their own AWS environment.

Results

Krikey AI’s partnership with SageMaker Ground Truth enabled them to rapidly build a massive dataset of richly labeled motion data in just 3 months and generate high-quality labels for their large dataset, which fueled their state-of-the-art text-to-animation AI model, accelerated their time-to-market, and saved over $200,000 in labeling costs.

“Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth has been game-changing for Krikey AI. Their skilled workforce and streamlined workflows allowed us to rapidly label the massive datasets required to train our innovative text-to-animation AI models. What would have taken our small team months, SageMaker Ground Truth helped us achieve in weeks—accelerating our ability to bring transformative generative AI capabilities to media, entertainment, gaming, and sports. With SageMaker Ground Truth as an extension of our team, we achieved our goal of providing an easy-to-use animation tool that anyone can use to animate a 3D character. This simply would not have been possible without the speed, scale, and quality labeling delivered by SageMaker Ground Truth. They were a true force multiplier for our AI development.”

– Dr. Ketaki Shriram, Co-Founder and CTO of Krikey AI.

Conclusion

The time and cost savings, along with access to premium labeled data, highlights the immense value SageMaker Ground Truth offers startups working with generative AI. To learn more and get started, visit Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth.

About Krikey AI

Krikey AI Animation tools empower anyone to animate a 3D character in minutes. The character animations can be used in marketing, tutorials, games, films, social media, lesson plans, and more. In addition to a video-to-animation and text-to-animation AI model, Krikey offers a 3D editor that creators can use to add lip-synched dialogue, change backgrounds, facial expressions, hand gestures, camera angles, and more to their animated videos. Krikey’s AI tools are available online at www.krikey.ai today, on Canva Apps, Adobe Express, and AWS Marketplace.

About the Authors

Jhanvi Shriram is the CEO of Krikey, an AI startup that she co-founded with her sister. Prior to Krikey, Jhanvi worked at YouTube as a Production Strategist on operations and creator community programs, which sparked her interest in working with content creators. In 2014, Jhanvi and her sister, Ketaki Shriram, co-produced a feature film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Univision. Jhanvi holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, and an MFA (Film Producing) from USC.

Dr. Ketaki Shriram is the CTO at Krikey, an AI animation startup. Krikey’s no-code 3D editor empowers anyone to create 3D content regardless of their background. Krikey’s tools can be used to produce content for games, films, marketing materials, and more. Dr. Shriram received her BA, MA, and PhD at the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab. She previously worked at Google [x] and Meta’s Reality Labs. Dr. Shriram was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 2020 Class in the Gaming category.

Amanda Lester is a Senior Go-to-Market Specialist at AWS, helping to put artificial intelligence and machine learning in the hands of every developer and ML engineer. She is an experienced business executive with a proven track record of success at fast-growing technology companies. Amanda has a deep background in leading strategic go-to-market efforts for high growth technology. She is passionate about helping accelerate the growth of the tech community through programs to support gender equality, entrepreneurship, and STEM education.

Julia Rizhevsky is responsible for Growth and Go-to-Market for AWS human-in-the-loop services, serving customers building and fine-tuning AI models. Her team works with AWS customers on the cutting-edge of generative AI who are looking to leverage human intelligence to guide models to their desired behavior. Prior to AWS, Julia’s developed and launched consumer products in payments and financial services.

Ami Dani is a Senior Technical Program Manager at AWS focusing on AI/ML services. During her career, she has focused on delivering transformative software development projects for the federal government and large companies in industries as diverse as advertising, entertainment, and finance. Ami has experience driving business growth, implementing innovative training programs, and successfully managing complex, high-impact projects.

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