According to the, an English-language anchor and a Chinese-language anchor were created by Xinhua in partnership with local Beijing search engine company Sogou. The state-run news agency considers the AI anchors to be members of its reporting team.
An artificial intelligence (AI) system has been used to synthesise the presenters' voices, lip movements and expressions.
The anchor takes advantage of AI technology to combine images and voices of human anchors to deliver news with "the same effect" as human anchors. Reading between the lines, that would suggest there's potential for the AI news readers to push their human counterparts out of their jobs. The AI TV anchor is also said to improve efficiency as it can quickly generate breaking news. "Consumers are already so wary of fake news and a robotic version only enhances that level of mistrust".
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The idea behind an AI newsreader is that news can be delivered 24/7 without suffering spiralling production costs. Known as "deepfakes", these videos created with AI technology are deeply concerning for several reasons, including their ability to impact elections and leave viewers at a loss when deciding what's real and what isn't.
The results looks to be a tad mixed, with AI news presenters looking a little stilted and unnatural, though if we were to stumble in late at night after a skinful and turn on Chinese news, we'd probably be duped by the presenter, at least until we sobered up with some fried chicken and a can of coke.
But in the face of this possible reality, he admits the public may not buy into it wholeheartedly. Its limited range of motion and expressions becomes repetitive after a short time, while its gray crisp suit and perfectly coiffed hair are even more rigid than human cable news hosts.
China has become one of the leading global hubs for AI development in recent years.