Media Playback Not Supported on Your Device Mediaskrift China's first AI News Anchor China's state-of-the-art news agency has introduced a…
Media Playback Not Supported on Your Device
Mediaskrift China’s first AI News Anchor
China’s state-of-the-art news agency has introduced a virtual news reader that has a sharp suit and a little robot voice.
Xinhua News claims the presenter “can read texts as natural as a professional news anchor”, but not everyone can agree.
“Hello, you’re watching English news programs,” says the English-speaking presenter at the start of of his first report .
Sogou, a Chinese search engine, was involved in system development.
“I will work tirelessly to keep you informed because texts are interrupted in my system continuously,” says presenter in an introduction video.
“I’m looking forward to giving you all the new news.”
There is also a Chinese speaking version with another face.
Xinhua says that the presenters can “work” 24 hours a day on their website and social media c hannels, “reduce costs of production costs.”
The Agency points out that they may be particularly useful for disseminating news reports correctly.
A system of intelligence (AI) has been used to synthesize the presenters’ voices, lip movements and expressions. They are based on the actual Xinhua presenters.
The presenter fought to work naturally, said Michael Wooldridge at Oxford University.
It was stuck something in the “immortal valley” – a term used to describe human robots and avatars that seem subtly unrealistic.
“It’s quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes. It’s very flat, very simple, it has no rhythm, beat or emphasis, “said Prof Wooldridge to BBC.
He also pointed out that human news representatives traditionally – in many cases – have become very reliable public figures.
“If you’re just watching animation, you’ve completely lost that connection to an anchor,” he added.
It was a “good first effort,” but said Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield.  “We will see it improve over time,” he told BBC. “The problem is that it can be very boring.”