The virtual news reader

Joshua Bennett
November 11, 2018

The AI reporter learns by combining images and voices of real-life anchors from the live broadcasting videos. During the development of the technology, facial recognition and other AI training technology were used to model two real anchors from China Central Television (CCTV) to help set up the AI figures. They are based on Artificial Intelligence Technology.

Xinhua News unveiled an English-speaking AI news anchor this week.

The AI anchors, developed by the state news agency Xinhua and the tech firm Sogou Inc, were on display at the World Internet Conference in the eastern Chinese town of Wuzhen, drawing in curious passers-by. While some commented on the AI's lack of facial expressions and toneless delivery, others were more forgiving and more open to the idea of a virtual news presenter.

In a post, Xinhua said the generated anchors could work "24 hours a day" on its website and various social-media platforms, "reducing news production costs and improving efficiency".

The anchor was created to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures.

The anchor was revealed during China's annual fifth World Internet Conference.

China's Xinhua news agency on Thursday unveiled the world's first artificial intelligence anchor that can read news in English and Chinese.

In a separate introductory video, it added it would "work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted".

"Hello, you are watching English news program, I'm AI News anchor", the English speaking reader said at the beginning of its first broadcast. And compared to a trusted human news anchor, he says that "if you're just looking at animation you've completely lost that connection to an anchor". It has worked 24 hours a day reporting Xinhua their news.

Xinhua reported these anchors have already joined the news reporting team.

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