It seems like something out of a sci-fi flick, but China has gone and done it for real – a realistic yet robotic sounding news anchor who, get this, is powered by artificial intelligence.
China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency made this new news anchor official during the World Internet Conference expo.
I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted,” the AI anchor said in its debut video at the conference.
src in org: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/GAfiATTQufk?feature=oembed&modestbranding=0&showinfo=0&rel=0&autoplay=1
src in mod: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/GAfiATTQufk?modestbranding=0&showinfo=0&rel=0&autoplay=1
src gen org: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/GAfiATTQufk
Not only does the virtual news anchor speak perfect English but it is also based on a real person. Xinhua TV’s host Zhang Zhao volunteered to serve as the basis of the AI’s facial features.
Remarkably, the AI-powered news anchor seems all too real. But its soulless delivery of news lacks the human touch. Of course, as far as first impressions go, it sounds incredibly robotic as it reads out news in a monotonous tone.
There were a few issues when it came to its delivery of the day’s news. It mispronounced “Panama” and gets the spacing between words off. It basically feels like your car’s GPS dictating the direction to you.
The AI’s owners do acknowledge these issues and even had the virtual news anchor say this line on-air:
As an AI news anchor under development, I know there is a lot for me to improve. Thank you.