AI news anchor debuts in China

The world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchor has debuted at the ongoing fifth World Internet Conference in east China.

The news anchor is a male image with a voice, facial expressions and actions of a real person. He can learn and read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor.

The AI news anchor was developed by Xinhua News Agency and Chinese search engine company Sogou.com.

In other AI news from China, a group of students have been recruited from high school to begin training as AI weapons scientists.

The 27 children were selected for the four-year “experimental programme for intelligent weapons systems” at the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT).

Earlier this month, Chinese tech company Baidu opened an AI park at Beijing’s Haidian Park with intelligent features powered by Artificial Intelligence.

Features include an AI-powered running track using face recognition detectors, and a self driving shuttle bus.

The future of AI

As The Guardian reports, AI is all about machines learning to perform tasks better than a human ever could. From the theoretical (AI beating a Grandmaster at chess), to the practical (AI driving cars).

Initial developments in AI have focused on the novelty element. Take the chocolate pavilion that used the technology to assess response to the taste of chocolate. While visitors eat, AI and facial recognition technologies, developed in collaboration with Milan-based interaction design studio Dotdotdot, collate micro-movements of their lips, eyebrows, pupils, nostrils and forehead. From these, the system works out what the visitor’s reaction has been to each chocolate.

AI also has applications in creating a virtual employee, tour guide or assistant. Research has also shown that visitors would prefer to be verified using AI technology than by a person.

Robots and AI were highlighted by Blooloop as two of six technologies to watch in 2018.

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