Daily Management Review

AI Powered Artificial News Anchor Debuts In China


AI Powered Artificial News Anchor Debuts In China
The first so called artificial intelligence (AI) television anchor has made its debut on China’s state-run Xinhua News. However, many viewers have called this robot as “a news-reading device without a soul.”
But analysts also gave credit to the short-term progress in voice recognition, text mining and semantic analysis that china has made as is evident from the latest creation. And yet others pointed out the challenges to the long term goals of China’s plan to become a global leader in AI.
Two AI anchors, one each for its English broadcasts and the Chinese language broadcasting, were developed by the news agency in collaboration with Chinese search engine Sogou. The image of the AI news anchor that the viewers see on the screen is that of two real life anchors of the channel.
Analysts described last week’s inaugural broadcast by the English-speaking AI anchor as more of a tech cheerleader instead of a news anchor as the AI device said: “the development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the international advanced technologies.”
And according to the news agency, the AI machine also pledged “to work tirelessly to keep you [audience] informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted” 24/7 over multiple platforms at one time if necessary.
Some viewers however missed the human touch in the AI anchor.
In response to Xinhua’s announcement, more than one user wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitterlike microblogging platform, that such anchors possess “no soul”. And one user joked: “what if we have an AI [country] leader?” while another questioned what it stands for in terms of journalistic values by saying “What a nutcase. Fake news is on every day.”
And yet others were sceptical about the impact of the use of such AI news bots on employment in the news industry.
“It all comes down to production costs, which will determine if [we] lose jobs,” one Weibo user wrote.
According to experts from the AI industry, the new Ai based anchoring machine appeared to be based on the images of real people and potentially made use of the animated parts of their mouths and face where as the machine-learning technology replicated speech patterns and facial movements which resembled humans. The delivery of the news broadcast was done through synthesized voice.
Liu Chien-chih, secretary-general of Asia IoT Alliance (AIOTA) says that the progress made by China in voice recognition, text mining and semantic analysis is showcased by this creation. He however mentioned that all of these are but just one of many aspects of AI technologies..
Liu added that one can expect more user scenarios or designs of user interface in China considering the speed of adoption of experimental AI adoption by Chinese businesses.
The Ai based powered news anchor is just a “use case” for AI-powered services to attract commercials and audiences, said Chris Dong, director of China research at the market intelligence firm IDC.
The advantage that China has from its big data advantage around consumers or internet of things (IoT) infrastructure is being aptly used by AI technologists for commercial value addition, he said.
Dong added that various industries or value chains have been made more efficient and smarter by its pace of digital transformation powered by AI.