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VIDEO: China’s Xinhua unveils the world’s first AI news anchor

Xinhua News Agency Shanghai Bureau. (N509FZ/Wikimedia Commons)

China’s Xinhua news agency on Thursday unveiled the world’s first AI anchor that can read news in English and Chinese.

Xinhua in collaboration with search engine operator Sogou unveiled the new technology at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, South China Morning Post reported. The AI anchors take the form and shape of a human being and read out news stories. They have minimal facial expressions and lip movements which look quite realistic.

Xinhua’s first English AI anchor introduces himself as what he is and what his capabilities are. This AI anchor’s face and voice has been designed based on the agency’s news anchor, Zhang Zhao. He can read news as it is typed out in the teleprompter. The AI news anchor also assures that he will “work tirelessly” and read out news without any interruptions.

The AI news anchor also collects data and learns to develop itself. “’He’ learns from live broadcasting videos by himself and can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor,” Xinhua reported.

Xinhua further says that the AI anchor has already become a member of the agency’s reporting team. He can work for 24 hours continuously on the news website as well as its social media platform. The AI anchor is said to “reduce news production costs and improve news efficiency”.

The AI anchor has also started presenting news reports. Since it’s an AI anchor, news is read out in a very monotonous manner with no expressions in between. The AI anchor himself acknowledges that the technology is still in development and that many improvements are required.


© 2018 the Hindustan Times (New Delhi)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.