China’s Xinhua unveils the world’s first AI news anchor

A screengrab from the video posted by Xinhua News Agency featuring an AI TV anchor

A screengrab from the video posted by Xinhua News Agency featuring an AI TV anchor

Xinhua, China's state run press agency, have released footage of their AI Anchors.

The AI news anchor made its debut at the Fifth World Internet Conference in China's Zhejiang province. "The development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the advanced global technologies", the AI anchor said in his first broadcast. Why don't you take a look at the video shared by Xinhua featuring the newest AI news anchor and be the judge.

Developed by Xinhua and the Chinese search engine, Sogou, the anchors learned to simulate the voice, facial movements, and gestures of real-life broadcasters, to present a "a lifelike image instead of a cold robot", Xinhua said, according to the Guardian.

"This is scary stuff, and arguably I am staring directly at my future replacement", veteran 10 News First newsreader Sandra Sully said of the technology.

While Xinhua claims the virtual anchor is a world first, it is not the first time that Chinese media has experimented with AI technology. The character was created to read news stories via a computer or mobile phone. The virtual anchors will also be able to relay breaking news without any delay.

Multiple injuries at mass shooting at Southern California bar in Thousand Oaks
Pictures and video footage show firefighters and first responders flooding the scene after multiple injuries were reported. Ventura County Fire Department said there was an "ongoing active shooter incident" reported at Borderline bar and grill.

According to Xinhua, the AI technology is not limited to news presenting.

He also pointed out that human news presenters have traditionally - in many cases - become highly trusted public figures.

In April this year, BuzzFeed created an eerily convincing video of former US President Barack Obama appearing to speak against Donald Trump. One Weibo user wasn't very impressed, writing, "There is room for improvement with his pausing and expressions". The AI composite anchors, as they're being called, will be working alongside their human counterparts to allow live news reporting on a 24/7 basis, and can be found on most of Xinhua's web presences in both English and Chinese.

As China Daily, another arm of China's state media, reported on the new "AI anchor": "The push comes as part of Chinese efforts to develop the AI sector". This AI anchor's face and voice has been designed based on the agency's news anchor, Zhang Zhao.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.