'AI news anchor' created by China's Xinhua news agency

'AI news anchor' created by China's Xinhua news agency

'AI news anchor' created by China's Xinhua news agency

There were two virtual news anchors that were introduced at the fifth World Internet Conference in China's Zhejiang province can read English and Mandarin.

Developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou, the anchor was created to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures.

This AI anchor was the product of a joint project between Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou.com, according to the news agency. Why don't you take a look at the video shared by Xinhua featuring the newest AI news anchor and be the judge. That, and the obviously non-human and robotic voice that sounds very much like a Chinese version of the male voice heard on Google Translate.

The newsperson - who speaks English in a video released by the news agency - was developed based on the voice and appearance of Zhango Zhao, another anchor at Xinhua. Peele does a great impersonation of Obama's voice so his digital doppelganger is even more impressive than the Chinese AI news anchors.

In the video, the computer-generated "person" tells listeners, "the development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the worldwide advanced technologies".

The developments came after China published its "Next Generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) Development Plan" a year ago, which stipulates that the country should ultimately become the world leader in AI by 2030.

The newest members of Xinhua's newsroom are AI anchors who will report "tirelessly" all day every day, from anywhere in the country.

"As an AI news anchor under development, I know there is a lot for me to improve", the English-speaking anchor said in his first sign-off. "Not only can I accompany you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year". It's commonplace in video games, and the idea is being transferred to other applications such as this news anchor.

Despite the convenience - and technical advancement - the new addition to Xinhua's news team has faced its share of criticism. While the AI was pre-programmed with texts, the AI appears to be reading news scripts via a real teleprompter.

Xinhua said that together with other anchors, "He" will bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in Chinese and English.

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