Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionChina's'first AI news anchor
09 November, 2018, 12:41
It's a question for perhaps the not-so-distant future, as China's state news agency unveils its first virtual news anchors.
The program extracts and combines the features of human anchors from videos of their reporting, using their speech, lip movements and facial expressions.
The robo-presenters were created in collaboration with a search engine company called Sogou.
The two AI anchors were first seen in action at the ongoing 2018 World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang. The AI will have "endless outputs", Xinhua says, given that they can "work 24 hours a day on its official website and various social media platforms" - provided that a human editor can supply them with the copy, that is.
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"I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted", says the presenter in an introductory video. Since it's an AI anchor, news is read out in a very monotonous manner with no expressions in between.
Xinhua's AI anchors are doing their thing on selected distribution channels including the news agency's English and Chinese apps, WeChat public account, TV webpage, and two Weibo accounts.
The real newsreader is on the left and the artificial intelligence is on the right. The AI anchor is said to "reduce news productioncosts and improve news efficiency". I prefer real human presenters, ' another said.
A Chinese speaking "artificial intelligence" anchor has also been unveiled, with a different face.
Walsh said China is quickly starting to lead the way in AI development, with the nation investing in the field "in a big way" as they seek economic and military dominance.
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