Journalism in China just evolved with the introduction of a robot news anchor.
Chinese state media agency Xinhua said that they joined together with engineers and programmers at Sohu, an internet giant, and have designed the world’s first female AI news anchor, known as Xin Xiaomeng. She will make her first appearance in March at the Two Sessions political meetings, also known as the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Asia Times reported.
Xin Xiaomeng will be ready to deliver any breaking news or to distribute messages from top Chinese officials at a moment’s notice.
See a video of her in action below:
Xin Xiaomeng was designed in detail to look like Xinhua’s human news host, Qu Meng. There is very little difference between the two, and many never noticed a difference when she made a short introduction about her upcoming debut.
When it comes to Xin and her news delivery, expect her to stand, lip movement to near perfection, offer head nods, winks, and smiles, and to deliver a flawless newscast.
One of the new faces that joined the lineup of news presenters for #China’s state news agency Xinhuais is #XinXiaomeng, touted by #Xinhua as the world’s first female artificial-intelligence – or AI – anchor. https://t.co/vVfqYmgHrj
— Asia Times (@asiatimesonline) February 25, 2019
While Xin is the first female AI news anchor, she is not the first of her kind. Two male AI news anchors have been delivering the news in China for around three months.
The first male AI news anchor was Qiu Hao, who made his debut at China’s annual World Internet Conference held in November in the town of Wuzhen, according to the World Economic Forum.
The second male anchor, called Xin Xiaohao, is said to be an improved version of Qiu Hao, with enhanced gestures and the ability to stand.
AI-driven journalism is something the Chinese have been working on for years, starting with their failed attempt at a female robot news reporter named Jia Jia.
One of Jia Jia’s first tasks was to interview AI expert and Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly at an event in Hefei in 2017, the World Economic Forum explained.
The broadcast was delivered live and was botched with extra long response times and too many one-word responses that were meaningless.
In 2017, Xinhua introduced a 1.2-meter intern reporter robot named Inspire. Inspire was the reporter who covered the 2017 Two Sessions meetings.
In total, Xinhua said since the release of the first AI news anchors, they have successfully delivered 10,000 minutes of airtime.