China’s state press agency has unveiled a virtual newsreader designed to deliver headlines 24 hours a day.
The agency claims the virtual presenter – a realistic-looking man sharply dressed in a suit – ‘can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor’.
‘Hello – you are watching English news programme.
I’m AI anchor in Beijing’ – the presenter said at the beginning of its first English-language broadcast.
The AI anchor has been modelled on Zhang Zhao – a human Xinhua presenter and will read out scripts fed to it by writers.
In an introductory video it said: ‘I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted’.
The technology synthesises the human presenter’s speech – lip movements and facial expressions.
It was developed jointly by Xinhua and Chinese search engine Sogou.