Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

China debuts the world's first AI news presenter

Watch this creepy AI anchor talk like a real person Can you tell the difference? First AI newsreader looks UNCANNILY like real deal
Sandy Mccarthy | 09 November, 2018, 02:42

Xinhua also says that the virtual anchor can self-learn from watching live broadcasting videos and "can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor".

The virtual presenters are created using 3D digital models of real humans an then apply AI tech to synthesise the voices of presenters and replicate their expressions and lip movements, without the need for more time-consuming traditional CGI processes.

China's state news agency, Xinhua, announced on Thursday, that the anchor is an official member of its reporting team, during the fifth World Internet Conference.

'I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted, ' he added.

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

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Xinhua built the AI with China's Sogou search engine and stated in a report that it will allow the news agency to have 24-hour news coverage while cutting down on production costs. Its limited range of motion and expressions becomes repetitive after a short time, while its gray crisp suit and perfectly coiffed hair are even more rigid than human cable news hosts. It appears that photo-like facial features have been applied to a body template and animated.

It was stuck somewhat in the "uncanny valley" - a term used to describe human-like robots and avatars which seem subtly unrealistic.

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.

He explained: "It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes. It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis", Prof Wooldridge told the BBC.

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

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