China's Xinhua news shows off AI news reader


The AI anchors are the latest in an ongoing trend towards global digitization across several industries, outside of news, given that we already have the holographic pop star Hatsune Miku, not to mention the equally weird CGI Instagram models Bermuda and Lil Miquela.

These anchors look realistic, but are actually digital composites that are rendered using actual footage of human anchors reading the news.

Xinhua News claims the presenter can "read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor".

The machine learning (ML) programme can generate lip movements, facial expressions etc similar to that of human news anchor. This AI anchor's face and voice has been designed based on the agency's news anchor, Zhang Zhao.

Anyone who's played Deus Ex: Human Revolution will recall the Picus news agency that used an AI news anchor to propagate propaganda of the comms agency behind the news firm. This version can read the news, uninterrupted, 24/7.

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The AI news anchor also collects data and learns to develop itself.

"He has become a member of (our) reporting team and can work 24 hours a day on (our) official website and various social media platforms, reducing news production costs and improving efficiency", reports Xinhua. This is my very first day in Xinhua News Agency, ' says the presenter in an introductory video.

"This is scary stuff, and arguably I am staring directly at my future replacement", veteran 10 News First newsreader Sandra Sully said of the technology. "Together with other anchors, they will bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in Chinese and English".

But, this isn't the first time countries have shown off robot news anchors. The AI anchor himself acknowledges that the technology is still in development and that many improvements are required.