China’s state-owned press agency, Xinhua, has introduced the newest member of its newsroom: an artificial intelligence (AI) English-speaking anchor who is designed to report news 24 hours a day.
Developed by Xinhua and Beijing-based search engine operator Sogou, the anchor learns from “live broadcasting videos by himself and can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor,” according to the South China Morning Post.
“The development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the international advanced technologies,” the AI anchor who simulates human voice and facial expressions said in his first broadcast.
“I will 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.”
Xinhua said it considers the AI anchors, who from the outside are almost indistinguishable from their human counterparts, to be members of its reporting team. It also noted that it sees the achievement as a “breakthrough in the field of global AI synthesis”.
The news agency didn’t reveal any additional information into the tech being used to create the virtual anchors, but they seem to be in line with the most recent machine learning research.