Xinhua News Agency recently debuted its first-ever English speaking Artificial Intelligence (AI) news anchor, which can read and deliver the news just like a real person.
The AI anchor, which made its debut at the fifth World Internet Conference that was recently held in Zhejiang, was modeled after a real-life news anchor for Xinhua, Zhang Zhao, according to the video.
This AI anchor was the product of a joint project between Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou.com, according to the news agency
Using synthetic voices that are created using composite audio recording from the real-life counterpart, the AI anchor can “work 24 hours a day on its official website and various social media platforms, reducing news production costs and improving efficiency.”
Aside from the potential 24-hour schedule, the AI anchor will now be considered part of the new agency’s reporting team.
“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 via South China Morning Post
The project’s achievement was a “breakthrough in the field of global AI synthesis,” said Xinhua, as it becomes a pioneer in the synthesis of real-time audio and video of AI-created anchors in the news field, as SCMP reported.
Sogou, meanwhile, provided all the underlying technology needed in the project thanks to its research and development in AI.
Not only is AI effective in efficiently reducing cost of producing daily TV news reports, but Xinhua noted that the technology can also quickly generate breaking news that greatly improves the timeliness and quality of reporting.