China’s state-run press agency has created an ‘AI anchor’ to read the news

Xinhua a state-run Chinese media agency, announced a new "AI anchor" that reads news in synthesized voices based on images of human characters.

Used to create anchors, but consistent with the most recent machine learning studies. Xinhua seems to use the image of a human anchor as a base layer, then move part of mouth and face to turn speaker into virtual doll. By combining this with synthetic speech, myths can be programmed to read news to digital anchors much faster than using traditional CGI. Xinhua

According to the report of Xinhua Communications and ] South China Morning Post has created two anchors (English language and Chinese) in cooperation with local search engine company Sogou. Xinhua An anchor has an "endless view" and can be used to inexpensively generate news stories about agency TV, Web, and mobile output.

According to Xinhua each anchor works 24 hours a day on official websites and on various social media platforms to reduce news production costs and increase efficiency.

There are limits to technology. In the video above and below the anchor using English, the range of expression is limited and the voice is obviously artificial. However, machine learning research in this field is making rapid improvements, and it is not difficult to imagine the future that AI anchors can not distinguish from reality.


A close Xinhua AI anchor's face. It looks like your mouth has been modified.

This will surprise many people, especially with the chaotic outlook as technology is deployed in China. The media is constantly censored and it is almost impossible to report even a wide range of events, such as suppressing the Uyghur community of the Uighurs. If you make a fake anchor to read the phrase, the sound will stop.

However, if these anchors are widespread, it is difficult to judge the actual impact on society. Xinhua does not need AI if someone does not ask a question and wants to read the news. On the other hand, virtual character stars Hatsune Miku and CGI Instagram models are the people who inform this kind of creation to the general public, and synthetic characters gradually move into mainstream culture.

However, as these examples have clearly fallen into the entertainment world, AI anchors can read the news, suggesting that this technology can be new.

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