Every evening when you turn on your TV and navigate to your (once) favourite news channels, you can hear a familiar screaming. It might be an Arnab or a Rajdeep or a Navika. And although you might’ve a problem with their vocal inflections, deep inside, you know that they’re a human. Soulless? Maybe. But human, nonetheless.
However, in a few years, even that might change and you can blame China for that.
According to Xinhua Net, China debuted the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchor at the fifth World Internet Conference in east China’s Zhejiang Province.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) November 7, 2018
Apparently, this AI news anchor’s face is based off of an actual news anchor. But it alters “his” voice, facial expressions and actions through its programming. “He” learns from live broadcasting and can read texts as naturally as you and I can. As of now, “he” has become a member of Xinhua’s reporting team and has the capability to work 24 hours a day on its official website and other social media platforms.
Netizens were startled by this upgrade to news anchoring. While some sounded interested, others were worried about how it might be used to peddle fake news.
1. Maybe that journalist’s already been converted.
— Georgie Ndirangu (@georgiendirangu) November 8, 2018
2. Odd is an understatement.
Odd flex but ok https://t.co/y1kwgGHPlK
— Ｓｉｃｋｂｏｙ (@sicklyDreaming) November 8, 2018
3. This is taking creepy to another level.
Not creepy at all https://t.co/ekYtUeBzEU
— Daddy McFatty 🔞 (@BunnyVenom01) November 9, 2018
4. The thing is, we won’t be able to spot the difference.
A new level in #FakeNews this is for sure!
Term it as next breakthrough or whatever, this will sure be use up to fulfill sick individual's personal motives and ambitions in ways no one had ever predicted. https://t.co/4BvFeim7p3
— Hammad Rais (@hammadrais32) November 9, 2018
5. Bring your humour setting down to 75%, please.
— Keith Lam (晃太郎) (@baritonekeith) November 9, 2018
6. Oh to be jobless and sad.
no doubt we're all losing our jobs in twenty years loool https://t.co/mJMfCNqnhP
— Vithuyan Sugumar (@vithuyan) November 8, 2018
We already have Navika Kumar https://t.co/eTgPzUClz5
— Rishiraj (@mang0rish) November 9, 2018
8. ‘Black Mirror’ is getting better at predicting our future than ‘The Simpsons’.
Living in a sci-fi movie at this point https://t.co/yWLyZSb6sC
— Bleeker (@BleekerOfficial) November 9, 2018
9. Choose your post-apocalyptic future: ‘Terminator’ or ‘Blade Runner’.
Every day we're getting closer of fighting robots for our own survival 😍 https://t.co/JQtJg0chns
— Saul Rios (@saoriosmedina) November 9, 2018
10. Here we are now.
News casually replaced by machines 😮what😨the😱hell, did not expect this to be happening in my life time https://t.co/MO6cxIrwqD
— Lost Legacy (@LegacyGameDev) November 9, 2018
A few months ago, Bloomberg released a video talking about deep fake videos, where it was almost impossible to determine if it was real or fake. And while we should’ve fought to make the system more robust, it looks like China has taken a different route under the garb of protecting their cyber-space. But what do you think? Is this dangerous or a necessary change?