Meet the latest broadcast journalist recruited by China’s state-owned newspaper, which is powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
The virtual young woman, dubbed “Ren Xiaorong,” claims to be able to answer questions and deliver newscasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
But there’s a catch – the avatar can only answer preset questions, and the answers she gives promote the line of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee.
The questions relate to the “Two Sessions” political conference that ended Monday, where delegates in the country discussed and approved legislation.
Developed by the CCP’s official news outlet, People’s Daily, Ren says she has the skills of “thousands of news anchors.”
Meet the Latest Broadcast Journalist Hired by the Chinese State-Controlled Newspaper Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI)
She was revealed on Weibo, a social networking platform in China, in a video dressed smartly in a black blazer and standing in front of a city skyline.
WHO IS AI NEWS ANCHOR ‘REN XIAORONG’?
Ren Xiaorong is a virtual news anchor recruited by China’s state-owned newspaper People’s Daily.
Appearing on the People’s Daily app, she can speak on a range of preset topics related to the ‘Two Sessions’ political conference.
Her comments strongly promote the line of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The digital news anchor says, “Hi, my name is Ren Xiaorong. I’m a digital AI anchor who just joined the People’s Daily.
“Thousands of new anchors have taught me their professional skills.
‘365 days, 24 hours, I will bring news all year round, without rest.
“Whether it’s on news sites or in the studio, you’ll always see me.
“Every conversation, every feedback you give will only make me smarter.”
Despite these claims, when you open the app to interact with Ren, you can only ask her to speak on preset topics related to the two sessions.
These include “advanced technology,” “tax and fee reductions,” “employment,” and “The Belt and Road Initiative.”
All of her responses are in line with the CCP ideology, and the user cannot get her to deviate from the script by asking her their own question.
Reactions to her on Weibo have been mostly positive, with comments like “wow!”, “amazing”, “so real” and “very sci-fi”.
But the popular microblogging site is being monitored to comply with China’s strict censorship regime.
Platforms across the country are quickly and regularly removing items from complaints about COVID lockdowns to cryptic criticism of politics.
On Twitter, which is inaccessible in China, the response is less positive.
One user said, “This looks so bad. We have now developed Deep Fakes, AI dialogue and AI voices.’
The virtual young woman, dubbed “Ren Xiaorong,” claims to be able to answer questions and deliver newscasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
The questions she answers relate to the “Two Sessions” political conference that ended Monday, where delegates in China discussed and approved legislation
Ren is not the first AI-generated presenter in China as they have been appearing online and on TV since 2018.
The first three were modeled after three existing reporters, two men and one woman, for the Xinhua news agency.
Next came robot presenter Jiang Lailai, who presented an entertainment program about new technology.
It wasn’t long before Xinhua recruited another digital anchor, Xin Xiaomeng, who was modeled after another journalist and also covered news of the 2020 Two Sessions.
Xinhua news agency also recruited a digital anchor, Xin Xiaomeng (pictured), who was modeled after a real-life journalist and also reported news of the 2020 Two Sessions
However, these all look relatively outdated now, especially when compared to ChatGPT’s ever-expanding capabilities.
But this doesn’t mean China is out of the AI chatbot race, as today it unveiled its own competitor, Ernie, developed by technology company Baidu.
However, it disappointed investors with its use of pre-recorded videos and the lack of a public launch, causing shares to plummet.
It’s only open for trial to an initial group of users, and even Baidu CEO Robin Li admitted it was only revealed “because the market demands it.”
Will a robot take over YOUR job? Research reveals the careers most at risk of being replaced by AI
A study from Princeton University in New Jersey, USA, has revealed the 20 professions most at risk of being laid off due to AI.
In first place is the call center operator, but the next eight are all teachers of different disciplines, including languages, history, law and religion.
The authors wrote: “The effect of AI on work is likely to be multifaceted.
“In some cases, AI can replace work previously done by humans, and in other cases, AI can complement human work.”
Read more here
A study from Princeton University in New Jersey, USA has revealed the 20 professions most at risk of being laid off thanks to AI