China Unveils 'An Artificial Intelligence Virtual News Anchor'

November 8, 2018

Because it was only a matter of time until someone did it, this is a video demonstration of "an artificial intelligence virtual news anchor" created by the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua to read the news. The agency says that they've developed two of the anchors (one for Chinese, one for English), and, admittedly, they're pretty realistic. The synthesized voice though -- they need to do something about that. I've heard far more convincing human-speak from someone wearing one of those Transformers voice-changing masks.

It's not clear exactly what technology has been used to create the anchors, but they're in line with the most recent machine learning research. It seems that Xinhua has used footage of human anchors as a base layer, and then animated parts of the mouth and face to turn the speaker into a virtual puppet. By combining this with a synthesized voice, Xinhua can program the digital anchors to read the news, far quicker than using traditional CGI.

Xinhua says the anchors have "endless prospects" and can be used to cheaply generate news reports for the agency's TV, web, and mobile output.

Each anchor can "work 24 hours a day on its official website and various social media platforms, reducing news production costs and improving efficiency," says Xinhua.

The future, folks. Soon nothing will be real and you won't be able to tell if you're living inside a computer simulation, or a computer simulation is living inside of you. "What's that even supposed to mean?" No clue, I just thought it made me sound smart. "Well it didn't." Dammit. *punching self in head* 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01110010 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100110 01100001 01110010 01110100 00100001

Keep going for the whole video.

Thanks to No Need and Christopher C, who agree nothing is true, everything is permitted.

  • lushkneebumbuild

    i guess that's one way to get rid of those pesky tells when the reporter knows the story is being manipulated

  • Chaz Gomez

    It's NOT AI... I wish there wait saying that... it has no sentience, it's just a program...

  • DThor

    Well, seriously, this is awful. It looks like those cheesy 80s video effects where they superimposed someone's upside down mouth on another person's face. Not for one second does it seem like anything remotely real.
    And FFS Chinese PR types, please stop spreading more misuse of the term "Artificial Intelligence". This has no more AI than my toaster. In fact, my toaster felt the same way on viewing. Bullshit, he cried.

  • Douchy McDouche

    Well they certainly nailed that chinese accent.

  • Eric Ord

    This would only remind me of Meh if it was an evil artificial super intelligence that we all had to band together and fight for our lives. Not everything reminds me of Meh, guys. Jeez. Grow up.

  • Bling Nye

    Who you callin' a rat fart?

  • Geekologie


  • Jenness

    I was about to say "Well maybe now we can just get the news, and no opinions." But then I remembered some douche has to program these things and because of the dumbing down of our educational system, social justice warriors, and such we all need to just prepare for newscasts to end up looking like this:

  • KeithMcD

    I like how it said "Jack Massachusetts" when Alibaba's founder's name is "Jack Ma"

  • Bling Nye

    Jack Ma hwut now?

  • John Shake

    I replayed it a couple times to make sure I heard that right. Hilarity!

  • Wooder

    So does the news anchor show emotion??? or will it be a cold stare as he says "A earthquake leveled the city last night with no known survivors...its an easy commute for me (wink wink)".

  • Hazakabammer

    I fail to see how an Earthquake capable of levelling a city can have no effect on the roads, railways and public transport services.

    Good luck getting your commute when driving 20 ft down the road is impossible because of the veritable chasms stretching all over the place, not to mention the potential rubble blocking the streets.

  • The_Wretched

    Nothing like a news anchor who won't balk at the most insane propaganda either.

  • Hazakabammer

    I thought that was all News Anchors? I mean, have you seen CNN/CNBC/FOX, etc? It's all propaganda and all of it is insane propaganda really.

  • GeneralDisorder

    Oh good... There's no possible way this will end badly.

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