World's first AI news anchor debuts in China

China’s AI news anchor introduces himself and presents news reports

It was done in partnership with the Chinese search-engine company, Sogou.com, according to the company.

The AI anchor made debut during China's annual World Internet Conference. Well, one might not find anything different at the first glance, but if one looks closely, you will see that there is something different with this particular news presenter.

Xinhua, quoted in The Guardian, said the AI technology will not necessarily be limited to news presentation and may be customised for different clients in other industries. While Xinhua says the anchors have the "voice, facial expressions and actions of a real person", the robotic anchors relay whatever text is fed to them in stilted speech that sounds less human than Siri or Alexa. The AI also took the opportunity to highlight how the revolution of the media industry needs innovation and deep integration of technology.

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

"Hello everyone. I am an English Artificial Intelligence Anchor".

Not only is AI effective in efficiently reducing cost of producing daily TV news reports, but Xinhua noted that the technology can also quickly generate breaking news that greatly improves the timeliness and quality of reporting. "He" as he's known, is the world's first artificial news anchor. The anchor will work as a part of the reporting team. This is my very first day in Xinhua News agency. Some disagree about whether the technology appears natural. The anchors can appear to be a bit wooden and some of the facial expressions are not quite right, but hey, nobody is flawless on their first day. Dressed in a pin-striped suit with a red tie the AI-based news anchor can "accompany you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year". Along with the relevant news text that gets typed into its system.

The AI anchors are now available throughout Xinhua's internet and mobile platforms such as its official Chinese and English apps, WeChat public account, and online TV webpage.

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