China’s State-Owned Press Agency Xinhua Debuts World’s First AI News Anchors

Pictured are cameras used in a news studio.

China’s state-run press agency Xinhua has introduced a new anchor to deliver news, but unlike the typical newsreaders that people are used to seeing on TV or on the internet, this one is based on artificial intelligence technology.

The anchor is based on digital composites created from footage of human hosts and designed to read text fed into the artificial intelligence using a synthesized voice.

The South China Morning Post reported that Xinhua created two anchors, one to broadcast news in English and the other for Chinese. The news agency developed these in collaboration with the search engine company Sogou.

According to The Verge, old videos of human anchors were used as a base layer for the AI anchors. By animating parts of the face and mouth and combining this with a synthesized voice, Xinhua can program the digital anchors to read the news far quicker than if they use traditional CGI.

The AI-based news anchors reportedly learn from live broadcasting by themselves.

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