Remember the weather presenters who slowly undressed in front of the camera while announcing the current air humidity levels? Um, yes... There used to be a rather popular site in the early 2000s. Whatever, I can't link it here anyway. The point I'm trying to make is that, if you like, you'll soon be able to see your partner performing a striptease while presenting the weather or the news. Ooh la la!
Admittedly, I'm only mentioning nudity because I want to capture your interest and make you read on. There are plenty of boring texts out there. And boring presenters. Apart from the content, watching the news is ineffably boring. What if you were able to choose the presenter yourself in the future?
China has just made artificial intelligence (AI) history. The guy in the following video isn’t real – although he looks a bit like Philip Rösler, former Vice Chancellor of Germany:
This AI anchor was developed by search engine Sogou and China's state-run Xinhua News Agency. It’s based on a real presenter who still has his job – according to my extensive research in Mandarin. Although the AI version has much more energy and is able to work 24 hours a day.
Television as we know it today will soon be a thing of the past. No, not because it's boring and full of adverts or because someone is planning to take away your non-real-time TV. Simply because we're getting closer and closer to the point where nobody's willing to pay for this crap anymore? No, that’s not it, either. Technological progress doesn't only have 8K and 16K in store, but also the fusion of TV and Internet.
This so-called media convergence isn’t my invention. It's been talked about for years. And now that the first AI anchor is finally available, it's time to celebrate. This anchor marks the birth of a new form of television. AI avatars combined with 3D visualisation technology will soon make it possible to choose any person as a news anchor. One day, you might scan your body and record your voice profile and find yourself at the top of the human AI anchor charts two weeks later.
Remember the first time you heard your TomTom navigation device speak to you with Darth Vader's voice? That's what it will feel like – only that you won't just hear but also see whoever's talking to you.
Who would you like to make your personal news anchor or weather presenter? SpongeBob, your mother-in-law or even yourself?
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