In news that journalists around the world are perhaps hate to report, China has just unveiled another non-human that is set to steal their jobs.
China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, today unveiled “the world’s first female AI news anchor” to read alongside its male AI news presenters.
Dystopian? Far from it – but it is unsettling for those who are reporting.
Named Xin Xiaomeng, the perfectly groomed broadcaster was developed jointly by Xinhua and search engine company Sogou, and was shown off in a video on social media on Thursday.
Apart from a few stiff facial muscles, Xiaomeng is remarkably life-like, complete with hand adjustments while on camera, and just enough on-cue blinking.
The computer-generated journalist was modelled after real-life Xinhua news anchor Qu Meng, whose voice and image provided inspiration for developers.
In a video on Twitter, Xiaomeng addresses the world in Chinese with English subtitles, saying “Hello to everybody who’s watching”, and announcing her role as broadcaster for China’s Two Sessions political conferences in March.
Xiaomeng will join Xinhua’s two male AI reporters, who were revealed last November, in covering the conference.
As she was unveiled to the world, Xinhua announced that her male colleague Xin Xiahao has had an upgrade.