The ‘world’s first’ A.I. news an­chor has gone live in China

Tehran Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

A TV an­chor has joined a Chi­nese news agency, but with a twist: he isn’t hu­man. China’s state-run Xin­hua News Agency has launched an ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) an­chor, a move it claims to be a world first.

“English AI An­chor” de­buted Thurs­day at the World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in the coun­try’s east­ern Zhe­jiang Prov­ince.

Mod­eled on the agency’s Zhang Zhao pre­sen­ter, the new an­chor learns from live videos and is able to work 24 hours a day, re­port­ing via so­cial me­dia and on the Xin­hua web­site. “’He’ learns from live broad­cast­ing videos by him­self and can read texts as nat­u­rally as a pro­fes­sional news an­chor,” the com­pany said in an on­line state­ment.

“The devel­op­ment of the me­dia in­dus­try calls for con­tin­u­ous in­no­va­tion and deep in­te­gra­tion with the in­ter­na­tional ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies,” the AI an­chor said in his first broad­cast.

“I will work tire­lessly to keep you in­formed as texts will be typed into my sys­tem un­in­ter­rupted. I look for­ward to bring­ing you the brand new news ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Xin­hua de­vel­oped the ro­bot an­chor with Chi­nese search en­gine So­gou.com and has posted two more re­ports from the AI broad­caster on its Twit­ter feed. One cov­ers China’s an­nounce­ment that it will launch its first Mars probe in 2020 and ends with the AI an­chor pay­ing tribute to Chi­nese jour­nal­ists.

“Be­fore we go, I’d like to send my good wishes to all of the jour­nal­ists across the coun­try. As an AI an­chor un­der devel­op­ment I know there is a lot for me to im­prove,” he said.

Con­cerns about the grow­ing AI in­dus­try in­clude loss of jobs and un­in­tended dis­crim­i­na­tion. But re­search firm Gart­ner pre­dicts that the in­dus­try will in fact cre­ate 2.3 mil­lion jobs and elim­i­nate 1.8 mil­lion by 2020, while IBM has re­searchers tack­ling bias.

The in­dus­try could gen­er­ate more than $3.9 tril­lion within the next five years, ac­cord­ing to Gart­ner, with com­pa­nies such as Ap­ple and Coin­base us­ing it in re­cruit­ment where soft­ware en­gi­neers are in­ter­viewed on­line by AI plat­form Triple­byte.

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