Reuters has created a virtual sports journalist using artificial intelligence technology and video footage of a human presenter.
The AI presenter reads out match summaries in a video, using Reuters photography and reports, that requires no scripting, editing or production.
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Reuters claims the prototype, built in partnership with AI-video firm Synthesia, is the world’s first automated presenter-led video sports report.
The AI journalist is modelled on Reuters’ global sports editor Ossian Shine.
Shine said: “It was a fascinating project to be involved in, but at the same time so surreal to see a character that looks and sounds just like you speaking phrases and sentences at someone, or something, else’s command.”
Nick Cohen, global head of product for core news services at Reuters, said: “Reuters has long been at the forefront of exploring the potential of new technologies to deliver news and information.
“This kind of prototyping is helping us to understand how AI and synthetic media can be combined with our real-time feeds of photography and reporting to create whole new kinds of products and services.”
The prototype is intended as a proof of concept, showing the potential for real-time news services using AI, Reuters has said.
The global news agency already uses data feeds from matches and AI technology to automatically generate captioned match summary videos for use on social media and other platforms.
Victor Riparbelli, chief executive and co-founder of Synthesia, said: “AI-generated content will be a cornerstone of the media landscape in the coming decade and we are pleased to be at the forefront of developing new products and experience alongside industry leaders such as Reuters.”
Last year China’s state news agency unveiled what it claimed was the world’s first AI news anchors, modelled on two of its own real-life journalists, who can deliver the news non-stop.