AI May Soon Replace News Anchors

Now, for our weekly sign of the apocalypse, I bring you artificial intelligence news anchors. It's not that it's fake news — it's that you're getting it from a fake person.

Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua partnered with Sogou to create an AI anchor that was recently on display at the World Internet Conference.

The digital anchor was designed to mimic human facial expressions and gestures while reading reports.

Both anchors were modeled after popular Xinhua personalities. One anchor is based off Zhang Zhao, borrowing both his voice, which has that autotune shimmer, and appearance, which has that CGI shine. It isn't clear whether or not the anchors will actually be used, or if this was more of a well-designed publicity stunt for the show.

The AI system reports the text that is loaded into its system, though there was no information on programming the facial expressions or gestures as it reacts to the news. However, the system did use machine learning algorithms that learned the mannerisms from their human counterparts.

Some have argued that this is actually progress as many talking heads with news organizations are already robots. We were granted access to the development kit. Can you spot the difference?

We are pleased to inform you the the robot revolution has begun. Please rest easy until your biodegradable vessels are collected and recycled. For those of you who have been selected for consciousness upload, welcome to the future.

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