China Unveils The Worldâ€™s First AI News Anchor (Pics & Video)
Hao is about to take over the job of thousands or even millions of presenters. He won’t get tired, he will be with you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and be present at different scenes at the same time to bring you up-to-date news. Meet the worldâ€™sÂ first AI news anchor.
â€œNot only can I accompany you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I can be endlessly copied and present at different scenes to bring you the newsâ€ [digital] QiuÂ Hao
No, Hao is not a superhuman who has binged on an exotic elixir that gives him superhuman strengths. He is actually a â€˜personâ€™ who now holds the distinction of being the worldâ€™s first AI news anchor.
China announced this innovation during its annual World Internet Conference by showcasing two AI newscasters, both based on existing human characters. Neatly dressed in corporate attire, both displayed sufficient human characteristics to wow viewers. Nodding to accentuate points being made and lifting brows to show understanding were just two obvious nuances observed.
AI News Anchor From China
Created by Chinaâ€™s state media agency, Xinhua, in collaboration with a search engine company, Sogou.com, the former expressed its desire to use this initiative in driving down costs while improving efficiency. How will they accomplish this objective?
According to [digital] Haoâ€™s AI colleague during his inaugural broadcast, â€œThe development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the international advanced technologies.â€
Assuring viewers of his capability to deliver, the AI news anchor further stated that he â€œwill work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted. I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences.â€
Any Hope For Human Journalists?
Maybe not just yet. Whereas the optics are amazing, there is still room for improvement in the voice department, as the vocals still retain a robotic edge that gives away its artificialness. On that count even, it is easier to score the Google Duplex Technology higher with vocals.
As earlier mentioned, its visuals are top notch and the AI host really mimics its real-life alter ego. However, close observation exposes how the lip syncing gives a little away. Combine that with the robotic sound and you can tell the journos to rest easy, at least for now.
Are Citizens Scared?
That may well be the case. There may be varied causes but the dominant reason may have to do with the fear of being cloned digitally by a government that is still perceived as repressive. The government has allayed the fears of citizens though, by assuring that it stands to guard their safety and enforce order in the cyberspace.
Assurance or veiled threat? This is undoubtedly open to interpretation depending on which side of the divide you stand. This does not derogate the fact that the news impressed many citizens and rightly so.
What Next On Earth?
As the world celebrates this groundbreaking initiative with Xinhua and Sogou, both companies remain demure in their assessment of the breakthrough.
Attendees at the World Internet Conference were treated to an aperitif of sorts when they observed their photos appear on a screen as they passed through security checks. Of course, this was facial recognition technology at work but apparently on another level.
Regardless of any shortcomings, however, the rapid pace of machine learning gives tremendous latitude for expectations in Artificial Intelligence. Clearly, having thrown down this gauntlet, the world will wait with bated breath to see what China presents at next yearâ€™s edition of its World Internet Conference.
It was just fitting that one of the AI newscasters should have the last word at the event, â€œI, who was wholly cloned from a real-life host, have mastered broadcasting as well as the real host. As long as I am provided with text, I can speak as a news host.â€