Watch: China unveils the world’s first A.I. news anchor
China's state-run news agency and the search engine company Sogou have developed an artificially intelligent news anchor that can read the news "tirelessly" 24 hours a day.
- The A.I. anchor was based off of a real-life anchor and is able to read any text it's given.
- It looks realistic, but its movements are slightly awkward while speaking.
- The developers suggest the technology could someday be used for other purposes besides journalism.
The newest anchor at China's Xinhua News Agency looks and talks like a human, but is in fact an A.I. that can report the news "tirelessly" 24 hours a day.
Developed by the state-run agency and the search engine company Sogou, the artificial anchor made its debut on November 7 at China's annual World Internet Conference.
"Not only can I accompany you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, I can be endlessly copied and present at different scenes to bring you the news," the A.I., whose appearance is based off of a real news anchor at the agency, said.
"I, who was wholly cloned from a real-life host, have mastered broadcasting as well as the real host. As long as I am provided with text, I can speak as a news host."
It may look realistic when still, but the fake anchor looks a bit awkward while speaking. Some called it creepy, unnatural. Michael Wooldridge, professor of computer science at the University of Oxford, told the BBC it was "quite difficult to watch for more than a few minutes."
"It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis," he said.
However, it's likely those problems will be sorted out as the technology evolves. Xiaochuan Wang, the head of Sogou, suggested the technology could someday be used for other purposes besides journalism.
"In the future, it could be your parents telling the story," he said in an interview.
Still, there might be an inescapable flaw in the idea of A.I. anchors or story-telling parents, as Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC.
"The problem is that it could be very dull," Sharkey said.
That's a sharp increase from the 1960s when it took the same share of scientists an average of 35 years to drop out of academia.
- The study tracked the careers of more than 100,000 scientists over 50 years.
- The results showed career lifespans are shrinking, and fewer scientists are getting credited as the lead author on scientific papers.
- Scientists are still pursuing careers in the private sector, however there are key differences between research conducted in academia and industry.
China's rise has necessitated a global PR push. It includes influencing how the movies you watch depict China.
- China will soon overtake the U.S. as the world's largest market for films, and it is using that fact to influence how it is depicted by Hollywood.
- While Chinese investors have been interested in buying shares of studios for a while, the real power lies in deciding which movies get into China at all.
- The influence is often subtle, but may have already derailed a few careers in the name of politics.
The bold technique involves surgically implanting a so-called microneedle patch directly onto the heart.
- Heart attacks leave scar tissue on the heart, which can reduce the organ's ability to pump blood throughout the body.
- The microneedle patch aims to deliver therapeutic cells directly to the damaged tissue.
- It hasn't been tested on humans yet, but the method has shown promising signs in research on animals.
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