China's Xinhua news agency debuts world's first AI anchors
Updated 17:44, 11-Nov-2018
China's state-run news agency Xinhua debuted its first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchors at the ongoing fifth World Internet Conference that kicked off in Wuzhen, east China's Zhejiang Province, on Wednesday.
The groundbreaking AI news anchors, one speaking Chinese and the other English, are the world's first news anchors based on the latest AI technology. 
Jointly developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine Sogou, the AI anchors can work 24 hours a day reporting breaking news to audiences around the world.
The Chinese AI news anchor. /Screenshot from Xinhua News Agency Video

The Chinese AI news anchor. /Screenshot from Xinhua News Agency Video

In the video clips released by Xinhua, the AI news anchors resemble real people, as they were modeled on the news anchors working in the agency. They can deliver the news just like human anchors as their machine learning program can extract and synthesize the voice, lip movements and facial expressions of real anchors, according to Xinhua.
As editors input the news, the AI anchors tirelessly, quickly and accurately report it throughout the day. 
The English AI news anchor. /Screenshot from Xinhua News Agency Video

The English AI news anchor. /Screenshot from Xinhua News Agency Video

According to Xinhua, the AI anchors have already joined the daily news reporting team and worked 24 hours a day reporting news on the agency's social media platforms, including the news app, official WeChat and Weibo accounts as well as the TV webpage, bringing audiences "a brand new news experience." 
Xinhua said that the AI anchors have immeasurable prospects for the future news reporting as they could reduce production costs and improve efficiency and accuracy.
In recent years, AI is developing rapidly in China, especially in the burgeoning Internet field. From Internet giants to startups, many have achieved momentum in the study and research of AI technology, bringing dramatic changes to people's daily lives.
The fifth edition of the annual World Internet Conference kicked off on Wednesday in east China's historic water town of Wuzhen. First spearheaded by China in 2014, the event has always aimed to build “a community with a shared future in cyberspace,” and this year's theme is "creating a digital world of mutual trust and collective governance.”