Will Human Newscasters Disappear One Day? China Unveils First Artificial Intelligence News Anchor (Video)

This story should interest every broadcast media person. Does it mean that one day we might have television houses without human beings reading the news and possibly presenting programmes? Do you think that is even possible with the way China is going with tech-based news presentation? Check this story out.

The Chinese Government-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced last week Thursday that they were set to roll out their latest female Artificial Intelligence (AI) news presenter, named Xin Xiaomeng, within a few weeks, report’s Interesting Engineering.

Working in collaboration with Chinese search engine company Soguo to produce Xin, it was stated that the new female AI which is the first in the world, will debut during coverage of the upcoming Two Sessions meetings in March.

The news agency had launched two male AI news anchors last year.

In November of last year, the state news agency introduced  Qiu Hao—a male-gendered AI presenter modeled on an actual Xinhua news anchor—during China’s World Internet Conference.

Xinhua and Soguo have also announced that they have built an improved male-gendered AI system named Xin Xiaohao, who is able to gesture, stand, and move more naturally than Xin Xiaomeng or Qiu Hao.

Xinhua has said it is very satisfied with their AI presenter so far. As of now, after only about 5 months of service, Qiu Hao has already presented 3,400 reports and has racked up 10,000 minutes of screen time. Such systems also make it possible for one presenter to present two different stories at the same time to different TVs or displays.

Xinhua hopes to use its two current AI presenters to present news out of the Two Sessions meetings. China is often said to have the most restrictions on speech and Internet freedom of any other major country on earth, so it might make the Chinese government more comfortable to use AI reporters than flesh and blood humans with biases, opinions, and the like.

Two Sessions, China’s most important political event of the year, is a pair of annual sessions of China’s Legislature, the National Peoples Congress (NPC), and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the nations top political advisory committee.

Source: Interesting Engineering

Do you think this will get to a stage that human news anchors will start losing their jobs? Is it possible to have a society where television houses have very few humans anchoring programmes? While you think about the possibility, the fact is that for now AI news anchors may not be a threat. But if China’s two AI news anchors do well there may come a time when humans may have to compete with computerized news presenters for that job.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, (formerly Anambra State University), Igbariam Campus.

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