Watch China’s new AI anchor read the news

A screengrab from the video posted by Xinhua News Agency featuring an AI TV anchor

A screengrab from the video posted by Xinhua News Agency featuring an AI TV anchor

Although other countries have toyed with animated or even robot newscasters, Xinhua claims this is the world's first AI news anchor that has the capability to improve itself over time through machine learning.

China's Xinhua news agency says it has developed an artificial intelligence news presenter, ready to take over 24/7, every single day of the year.

"Hello, you are watching English news programme", the English-speaking AI presenter said in the opening of his first report.

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.

"I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted".

There are actually a couple of AI Synthetic Anchors: One is a clone of the Xinhua News Agency's Hao Qiu and delivers the news in Mandarin; the other is modeled on Xinhua newscaster Zhang Zhao and performs in English. "I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences", the AI anchor said, hinting at two things here.

Sogou, a Chinese search engine, was involved in the system's development.

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A Chinese speaking "artificial intelligence" anchor has also been unveiled, with a different face.

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.

The digital anchors can be programmed to read news faster than the traditional CGI techniques that are used.

The agency says that each of these artificially intelligent anchors can work 24×7 for the website and thus reduce news production costs by improving efficiency.

"It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes".

China's news outlets are already subject to a lot of state control and censorship, so the ability to have virtual news readers to effectively do exactly what it's told is certainly an eyebrow-raising concept.

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