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Can China's new AI news anchors give Anderson Cooper a run for his money?

#artificialintelligence

China's state-owned Xinhua News Agency introduced so-called "composite anchors" on Wednesday, combining the images and voices of human anchors with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The new AI anchors, launched by Xinhua and Beijing-based search engine operator Sogou during the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, can deliver the news with "the same effect" as human anchors because the machine learning programme is able to synthesise realistic-looking speech, lip movements and facial expressions, according to a Xinhua news report on Wednesday. "AI anchors have officially become members of the Xinhua News Agency reporting team. They will work with other anchors to bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in both Chinese and English," Xinhua said. The AI anchors are now available throughout Xinhua's internet and mobile platforms such as its official Chinese and English apps, WeChat public account, and online TV webpage.


Is this the future of broadcasting? China unveils AI anchors based on their human presenters

Daily Mail - Science & tech

China's state-run press agency has welcomed two additions to its team of journalists - two news presenters powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Dressed in suit and tie, the AI newsreaders can'learn from live broadcast videos and read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor', according to Xinhua. The digital doppelgangers were modelled after the agency's journalists, English-language anchor Zhang Zhao and his Chinese-language counterpart Qiu Hao, and were jointly developed by Xinhua and search engine company Sogou.com. Tell the difference: China's state-run press agency Xinhua unveiled its first AI anchor (right) based on one of this human presenters Qiu Hao (left) The AI anchors were jointly developed by Xinhua and search engine company Sogou.com The two AI anchors were first seen in action at the ongoing 2018 World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang.


Chinese news agency adds AI anchors to its broadcast team

Engadget

China's state-run news agency Xinhua has unveiled the latest additions to its team of reporters -- two AI anchors. The two anchors, one that speaks in English and another in Chinese, have the likeness of some of Xinhua's human anchors, but their voices, facial expressions and mouth movements are synthesized and animated using deep learning techniques. "AI anchors have officially become members of the Xinhua News Agency reporting team," the agency said. "They will work with other anchors to bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in both Chinese and English." China's South China Morning Post reports that the AI anchors are available through Xinhua's English and Chinese apps, its TV webpage and its WeChat public account.


China unveils 'world first' AI news anchors

The Japan Times

SHANGHAI – China's state-controlled news broadcasters have long been considered somewhat robotic in their daily recitation of pro-government propaganda and a pair of new presenters will do little to dispel that view. Calling it a "world first," the Xinhua News Agency this past week debuted a pair of virtual news anchors amid a state-directed embrace of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. Based on the appearances of two flesh-and-blood Chinese news presenters, the computerized avatars read out text that is fed into their system, their mouths moving in tandem with the reports. Xinhua said the "AI Synthetic Anchors," one for Chinese and one for English news, were developed along with Sogou Inc., a Beijing-based creator of search engines and voice-recognition technology. China last year unveiled plans to become a world leader in AI and other high-tech fields, though it has since toned down the rhetoric amid a trade war with the United States, which has included accusations by President Donald Trump that China steals U.S. technologies.


World's first AI news anchor unveiled in China

#artificialintelligence

China's state news agency Xinhua this week introduced the newest members of its newsroom: AI anchors who will report "tirelessly" all day every day, from anywhere in the country. Chinese viewers were greeted with a digital version of a regular Xinhua news anchor named Qiu Hao. The anchor, wearing a red tie and pin-striped suit, nods his head in emphasis, blinking and raising his eyebrows slightly. "Not 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 news," he says.