Abu Dhabi Media and Sogou Inc., the Chinese internet giant, an today jointly announced the development of the first AI News Anchor that will present news in Arabic and English on ADM's channels.
It looks like uncanny valley but it's very real, the limits of AI don't seem to end and AI news anchors are no longer a work of fiction, they've been fairly active in China and they will come soon to the UAE.
The AI news anchor is the first Arabic-speaking AI news anchor in the world, with the ability to interact through facial expressions while reading bulletins in Arabic.
This announcement was made during a special signing ceremony at ADM’s headquarters. The event was attended by His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of Artificial Intelligence. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, director general of ADM, and Wang Yanfeng, general manager of the Voice Interaction Technology Centre at Sogou.
Noura Bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and chairwoman of the board of directors of ADM, explained that this step aligns with the company’s strategic plans, which seek to keep up with digital advances in the media industry and adopt the latest available digital technologies, particularly in AI.
UAE Artificial Intelligence Minister H.E. Al Olama said: “The use of artificial intelligence and technological tools in the media sector will result in a qualitative leap forward within the media landscape in the UAE and the wider region. The use of these advanced solutions will benefit the industry by enriching media content, supporting media research, and providing new opportunities for young professionals to build new skillsets suited to future media channels. The deployment of this advanced technology presents us with the opportunity to further define the future of the sector in a way that benefits all members of society.”
He added: “These new developments within the media sector are in line with the UAE Government's strategy of developing unique new models and systems built around artificial intelligence and advanced technologies that support the nation’s transformation into a knowledge based society and economy."
Incorporating its various algorithms and advances in speech synthesis, image detection and deep learning, the AI news anchor is meant to have a lifelike resemblance to a professional human news anchor. With Sogou's technology, textual input can be transformed into corresponding lip movements.
With the integration of the AI news anchor, ADM’s platform will be able to provide news broadcasts more efficiently, in a range of engaging formats, and potentially 24/7/365.
Wang Yanfeng, general manager of Sogou’s Voice Interaction Technology Centre, said: “This marks the first time that Sogou’s AI news anchor technology is being leveraged by an international media platform, and together we are thrilled to bring the AI news anchor to Arabic-speaking viewers.”