China’s first AI news anchor has debuted for a state-run outlet

China’s first AI news anchor has debuted for a state-run outlet
Ryan is an editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

Chinese state-run outlet Xinhua has offered a glimpse at the dystopian future of reporting with an AI replacement for news anchors.

Xinhua appears to be using two human anchors for the base layer – one Chinese-speaking, and the other English. The humans are then animated to appear like they’re reporting the day’s news.

The technology looks similar to that used for ‘DeepFakes’ – videos where celebrity faces are imposed on actresses in adult videos, complete with realistic expressions.

Rather than creating each scene using something time-consuming like CGI, such a technology allows the AI reporter to quickly read whatever text it’s been provided with. In the fast-paced world of news coverage, each second counts.

In the US, a news anchor’s salary on average is $83,300 per year. Depending on the market size and similar circumstances, it can range up to $875,000.

Using AI anchors could save outlets potentially millions per year, almost eliminate chances of errors, and they’re available 24/7 whenever news breaks.

With trust in the media at all-time lows, AI anchors will likely make the situation worse. Anonymous individuals being able to write anything they want and have it reported by something else sounds like a scenario ripe for abuse.

China is already known for its state control over media. Even the US appears to be edging closer by deciding which reporters can, and cannot, report on events.

 Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and their use cases? Attend the co-located AI & Big Data Expo events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam to learn more. Co-located with the IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

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