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China’s Xinhua news agency unveils world’s first AI news presenter. (PICS and Video)

World’s first English speaking Artificial Intelligence news anchor

If you’re a news anchor then this news should really worry you as robots are coming for your jobs. Chinese biggest news agency XINHUA has unveiled the world’s first English speaking Artificial Intelligence news anchor. This robotic news anchor dresses complete with an expensive suit, glasses and tie. Modeled on a real-life Xinhua anchor called Zhang Zhao.

Xinhua News claims the presenter “can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor”, though I don’t really agree. Seems to me like the Chinese agency is really planning to cut jobs of their news anchors. In a statement from the company, it says, There is also a Chinese-speaking version with a different face.

XINHUA

Xinhua says the AI robot presenters can “work” 24 hours a day on its website and social media channels, “reducing news production costs and improving efficiency”.  The digital anchors can be programmed to read news faster than humans. 

However, the technology has it’s own disadvantages. For instance, it has a limited range of facial expressions and it’s voice is completely artificial. Although it tries so hard to sound human, it’s easy to tell that it’s not a real human.

The future is China

XINHUA

The English speaking AI presenter started his job by saying, “Hello, you are watching English news programme,”

“I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted,” says the presenter in an introductory video.

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

Xinhua and Sogou a Chinese search engine company developed this technology. The anchor was designed to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures. Whichever way you look at it, the idea of AI finding it’s way into different sectors is chilling as it will gradually take over many jobs in the future. We’ll see if other news agency acquires this technology in the future.

 

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