China’s Xinhua news agency has become the first to receive a virtual news anchor for its TV channel, and it looks quite real. The news anchor is a male that has been modeled after one of the male news anchors at Xinhua news agency. And the virtual anchor can read the the news as text entered by the news agency.
The virtual anchor has human like facial expressions, and reads the news in a synthesized voice that makes it more plausible than anything before. This news anchor was created by the Xinhua news agency of China in collaboration with the Chinese search engine company Sogou.
There were two virtual news anchors that were introduced at the fifth World Internet Conference in China’s Zhejiang province can read English and Mandarin. Xinhua and South China Morning Post claim that the use of virtual news anchors for TV will effectively reduce the cost for the organizations, and make news available all the time which is difficult with humans at work. The virtual anchors will also be able to relay breaking news without any delay.
These virtual assistants are made using AI that determines which expressions are needed to make the anchor look human when reading the news, moving its lips and its expressions. It uses machine learning to make the anchor more human. Watch the virtual news anchor in the video below.
Both the Mandarin and English language anchors are available on the web as well as the mobile platforms for Xinhua news agency, and these include the apps as well as the TV webpages.