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Artificial Intelligence News Anchors Have Officially Debuted In China
By Yoon Sann Wong, 08 Nov 2018
If you feared your design job was at risk of being taken over by artificial intelligence (AI), it looks like news anchors might have it worse.
China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency has unveiled its latest AI anchors, or “composite anchors,” comprising fused graphics and audio of real-life human anchors through AI.
These machine anchors are touted to deliver news in both English and Chinese with “the same effect” as their human counterparts, but at a more cost-effective rate since they can work 24 hours a day.
Though Xinhua maintains that machine learning enables the AI to produce realistic speech and facial expressions, the debut video for its English-speaking AI anchor, shown below, communicates with a rather artificial-sounding voice, coupled with rigid and limited facial expressions.
Xinhua worked together with Beijing-based search engine operator Sogou, which invests in AI research and development, to create the technology.
The AI news anchors have been released across Xinhua’s internet and mobile platforms, including its official Chinese and English apps, and WeChat public account.
[via South China Morning Post, videos via New China TV, main image via video screenshot]
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