Chinese state-run outlet Xinhua has offered a glimpse at the dystopian future of reporting with an AI replacement for news anchors.
Xinhua appears to be using two human anchors for the base layer – one Chinese-speaking, and the other English. The humans are then animated to appear like they’re reporting the day’s news.
The technology looks similar to that used for ‘DeepFakes’ – videos where celebrity faces are imposed on actresses in adult videos, complete with realistic expressions.
Rather than creating each scene using something time-consuming like CGI, such a technology allows the AI reporter to quickly read whatever text it’s been provided with. In the fast-paced world of news coverage, each second counts.
In the US, a news anchor’s salary on average is $83,300 per year. Depending on the market size and similar circumstances, it can range up to $875,000.
Using AI anchors could save outlets potentially millions per year, almost eliminate chances of errors, and they’re available 24/7 whenever news breaks.
With trust in the media at all-time lows, AI anchors will likely make the situation worse. Anonymous individuals being able to write anything they want and have it reported by something else sounds like a scenario ripe for abuse.
China is already known for its state control over media. Even the US appears to be edging closer by deciding which reporters can, and cannot, report on events.
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