Artificial Intelligence (AI) news anchors are the latest innovation from the ChiCom's state press agency Xinhua. Who needs tedious human celebrities, anyway?
The new AI anchors, launched by Xinhua and Beijing-based search engine operator Sogou during the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, can deliver the news with “the same effect” as human anchors because the machine learning programme is able to synthesise realistic-looking speech, lip movements and facial expressions...
AI anchors may one day challenge the human variety because of their ability to work 24 hours a day provided human editors keep inputting text into the system.
Xinhua said the achievement was a “breakthrough in the field of global AI synthesis”, pioneering the synthesis of real-time audio and video with AI-created anchors in the news field. Search engine Sogou, which also does research and development in AI, is providing the underlying technology for the project.
Fans of Max Headroom are agog; this makes Max a reality. In the 1980's it was not possible to create such a thing, so Max was faked using a (yuck) human actor.
See also the article for synthespian as used by William Gibson in Idoru. There's a lot of speculation about how the AI was created; some think that some special sauce is used to coordinate the lips with the words. Fans of Fahrenheit 451 will remember the spot-wavex scrambler, which could perform this function on live human actors for personalization. Which Xinhua hasn't yet done, ahem.
Via South China Morning Post.
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