Xinhua, the press agency of China, announced a major milestone in Robotics by inducting a virtual newsreader. The humanoid looks real, is dressed for the occasion and has the ability to “read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor.” It is a sign of the changing times and many of the present anchors might lose their jobs.

The Independent UK reports that there are two robots and they can read out text like any real-life human. One is for the Chinese language while the other is for the English version. Xinhua and Chinese search engine Sogou have developed it jointly.

The technology has successfully combined the human presenter's speech, lip movements and facial expressions. Its program allows it to read out scripts fed to it by writers. Xinhua says the robotic anchors will be useful in economizing on production costs, simultaneously improving efficiency.

Dawn of a new era in media reporting

The robotic newsreaders made their debut during China’s annual World Internet Conference.

This is an important event for the tech sector of China because it is a platform for the country to highlight its expertise in various fields related to Artificial Intelligence.

The Guardian UK adds these AI anchors will be on the job 24X7 for 365 days in the year and from anywhere in the country. The robots have copied the mannerisms of real-life anchors and were developed through machine learning.

That has helped them to simulate the voice, facial movements, and gestures of normal broadcasters. That way, they appear to give an impression of being more human than a machine. The English-speaking AI said – “I look forward to bringing you brand new news experiences.”

Artificial Intelligence will dominate

China has undoubtedly opened up a new door for enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence. This is, in fact, the future scenario.

We have seen the application of AI in sci-fi movies and robots are an integral part of space missions. There are regular exhibitions held to encourage robotics and news appear in the media about the progress made in this field.

The Guardian UK adds that those who attended China’s annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen saw their photos flash on a screen immediately they passed through security checks. This indicates the high level of AI already in use. These include aspects like facial recognition. An official of the propaganda department said, “China stands ready to safeguard the sound order of cyberspace.” There is a mixed reaction of the people to this robotic newsreader. This is expected and it remains to be seen how successful this will be when Chinese robots take over the actual reporting.