China debuts the world's first AI news presenter

09 Novembre, 2018, 08:48 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Newsroom of the future? Chinese TV unveils unnerving ‘AI anchors

Xinhua is boasting that their new artificial intelligence news anchor is a world's first and that "he" is now considered a regular member of the reporting team and, even better, never needs a break.

Xinhua News claims the presenter can "read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor".

The anchors are now available through Xinhua's distribution platforms, including its official Chinese and English apps, WeChat public account, online TV webpage, and two Weibo accounts.

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

Xinhua in collaboration with search engine operator Sogou unveiled the new technology at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, South China Morning Post reported.

"I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences". Its limited range of motion and expressions becomes repetitive after a short time, while its gray crisp suit and perfectly coiffed hair are even more rigid than human cable news hosts. I prefer real human presenters, ' another said.

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Rather than creating a whole 3D model, the agency has crafted a photorealistic version of the presenters and simply animated their facial features.

The presenter struggled to appear completely natural, said Michael Wooldridge at the University of Oxford. It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis.

Qiu Hao, the Xinhua presenter who provided the prototype for the virtual announcer, said: "It will help us deliver news more effectively but it also poses more challenges to us news announcers".

But Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, called it a "good first effort".

"The problem is that it could be very boring".

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