China’s state news agency has unveiled what it claims is the world’s first artificial intelligence news anchors, modelled on two of its own real-life journalists, who can deliver the news non-stop.
Xinhua News Agency claims the AI anchors can read text “as naturally as a professional news anchor” and will present the news in English and Chinese – a trial video in English has been published on social media.
The AI anchors’ speech and facial expressions appear as though real-life news presenters Zhang Zhao and Qiu Hao. Their mouths move in sync with the lines they are reading out, with a computer speaking for them.
The new technology made its debut at the World Internet Conference this week after being jointly developed by the news agency and Chinese search engine company Sogou.
The agency said the “male” AI anchors have become part of its reporting team able to work 24 hours a day, including on its website and social media platforms, as they are fed continuous streams of text by writers.
It said this will increase efficiency and reduce production costs.
Xinhua added that the anchors may prove particularly useful for delivering breaking news in a timely way.
In a video posted on Twitter, the English speaking AI anchor said: “The development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the international advanced technologies.
“I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted. I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences.”
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) November 7, 2018
Picture: Xinhua News Agency