It looks like soon China’s human news anchors may need to find new work. Xinhua [[ shin-hwah ]] News has unveiled AI news anchors that look eerily real. According to the news agency, the virtual presenters “can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor.”
If you check out the virtual anchor's introductory video, you’ll see that the presenter can deliver reports in English as well as Chinese. The AI’s appearance is modeled after Xinhua’s existing human news presenters in China, as well as their voices, lip movements and expressions. While it may appear a little less natural than a human right now, researchers expect that it will “improve over time.”
So why virtual anchors if we have humans to do the job? Well, since Xinhua points out that these AI presenters can work around the clock, they could prove useful for delivering breaking news reports. Plus, virtual anchors that can present on the news agency’s website and social media reduces their production costs. Check out video of the AI news anchor below or to the right.