News anchors, beware. The robots are coming for your jobs, too.
China’s state news agency has debuted a virtual anchor designed to be able to deliver the news 24 hours a day.
Xinhua unveiled its “artificial intelligence news anchor” this week at an internet conference in the eastern city of Wuzhen.
“Hello, you are watching English news program. I am AI news anchor in Beijing,” the computer-generated host announced in a robotic voice at that start of its English-language broadcast.
Developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou, the anchor was designed to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures.
The AI news reader “learns from live broadcasting videos by himself and can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor,” according to Xinhua.
The news agency said the simulations can be used on its website and social media platforms and will “reduce news production costs and improve efficiency.”
It didn’t say whether any of China’s state-run TV channels have shown interest in acquiring the technology into for usage into the future.
The English-speaking anchor, complete with a suit and tie, is modeled on a real-life Xinhua anchor called Zhang Zhao.
“I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted,” it said in an introductory video.
A Chinese-language version, which is based on another real-life Xinhua anchor, was also unveiled at the conference.
Xinhua AI anchor, launched on Wednesday, starts presenting news reports from Thursday. In this program, he takes you to have a look at what a Panama official and the Chinese businessman Jack Ma say about the ongoing #CIIE. pic.twitter.com/OZkRQtv1sQ
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) November 8, 2018