China’s Xinhua Agency Unveils A Robot News Presenter

11 November, 2018, 14:24 | Author: Elena Summers
  • China’s AI news anchor introduces himself and presents news reports

The anchor "learns from live broadcasting videos by himself and can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor", Xinhua says.

According to South China Morning Post, Xinhua unveiled two AI newsreaders, one that speaks in English and one in Chinese. It uses artificial intelligence and was modeled on a living anchor named Zhang Zhao, though it only introduces itself as "AI news anchor in Beijing".

China's state-controlled news broadcasters have always been considered somewhat robotic in their daily recitation of pro-government propaganda and a pair of new presenters will do little to dispel that view.

Chinese tech giant Sogou was involved in the system's development. While some commented on the AI's lack of facial expressions and toneless delivery, others were more forgiving and more open to the idea of a virtual news presenter. 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.

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"Hello, you are watching English news program, I'm AI News anchor", the English speaking reader said at the beginning of its first broadcast. "I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will typed into my system uninterrupted", AI news anchor said in a video.

Calling it a "world first", Xinhua news agency this week debuted a pair of virtual news anchors amid a state-directed embrace of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Scientists have invented a virtual news anchor. The software analyzes its assigned anchor in-depth, then patches together all of its visual data into a cohesive image that mimics the anchor's movements and other quirks.

The so-called "Artificial Intelligence Anchor" was developed by Xinhua in conjunction with Chinese search engine Sogou.com and is based on images of real, human news presenters, Xinhua reports.

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