Newsroom of the future? Chinese TV unveils unnerving ‘AI anchors’

Newsroom of the future? Chinese TV unveils unnerving ‘AI anchors’

But Xinhua appears to know that the anchor is a work in progress, as the AI's sign-off message on its first report emphasized.

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.

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.

The state-run press agency in China, Xinhua, will now deliver news using "AI anchors" made of digital composites that use synthesized voices to "read" the news.

Sogou, a major Chinese search engine, assisted with development.

"I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences".

The agency points out that they may be particularly useful for disseminating breaking news reports in a timely manner.

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Xinhua further says that the AI anchor has already become a member of the agency's reporting team.

Michael Wooldridge, a Professor at the University of Oxford, said the result is mixed.

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

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 freaky CGI Instagram models Bermuda and Lil Miquela. It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis.

The real newsreader is on the left and the artificial intelligence is on the right.

"If you're just looking at animation you've completely lost that connection to an anchor".

"The problem is that it could be very boring".

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