Watch China’s new AI anchor read the news

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 9, 2018

The AI's looks are closely modelled on a real news anchor, and its lips are matched to frame each word that is programmed to come out of its mouth.

The nations state news agency Xinhua News worked with Chinese tech firm Sogu to create a virtual news anchor based on the appearance of actual human news readers.

There's a reason this news anchor seemed a bit robotic.

Xinhua is boasting that their new artificial intelligence news anchor is a world's first and that "he" is now considered a regular member of the reporting team and, even better, never needs a break.

"Hello, you are watching English news programme", says the English-speaking presenter at the start of his first report.

'Hello everyone, I am an English Artificial Intelligence Anchor. He can work for 24 hours continuously on the news website as well as its social media platform.

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The South China Morning Post reports that the two anchors-one for English broadcasts and one for Chinese-language announcements-combine the images and voices of human anchors with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, mixing their speech, lip movements, and facial expressions.

"I'll work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system", the AI presenter said.

Anyone who's played Deus Ex: Human Revolution will recall the Picus news agency that used an AI news anchor to propagate propaganda of the comms agency behind the news firm.

"It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes", University of Oxford Professor Michael Wooldridge told the BBC. "It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis", Prof Wooldridge told the BBC.

"If you're just looking at animation you've completely lost that connection to an anchor".

"We will see it improve over time", he told the outlet.

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