Chinese Government Debuts Photoreal Synthetic News Anchor

Chinese Government Debuts Photoreal Synthetic News Anchor

Chinese Government Debuts Photoreal Synthetic News Anchor

Dressed in the conventional dark suit, white shirt and tie combo synonymous with newsreaders, the digital anchor started presenting news reports on China's state news agency, Xinhua.

The news reader, which is based on the latest AI technology, is of male appearance with a voice, facial expressions and actions of a real person.

But AI anchors may one day challenge the human variety due to their ability to work 24 hours a day provided human editors keep inputting text into the system.

The creation of the AI news anchor is part of China's efforts to emerge as a high-tech powerhouse by notably becoming the world's leader in AI by 2030.

China's state news agency, Xinhua, announced on Thursday, that the anchor is an official member of its reporting team, during the fifth World Internet Conference.

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Xinhua said the achievement was a "breakthrough in the field of global AI synthesis", pioneering the synthesis of real-time audio and video with AI-created anchors in the news field.

Both anchors have already been put to work on a handful of distribution channels, like its public WeChat account, the TV webpage, two Weibo accounts, and the network's English and Chinese apps. "I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences", the AI anchor said, hinting at two things here.

At the internet summit, Sogou marketing staff said it wasn't clear when the technology would actually go into use, but crowds gathered nonetheless to take selfies with the digital anchor and Qiu himself who was at the event. Journalists simply have to type the script into a computer and the AI anchor will read out the text in a synthesized voice, complete with all the subtle gestures and expressions you'd expect to see with a real human.

"As an AI news anchor under development, I know that there is a lot for me to improve", the virtual anchor says as it signs off its report.

Riddle me this: if the robots do wage war, will the artificially intelligent newsreaders tell us?

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