The news industry is rapidly evolving with the aid of artificial intelligence (AI). AI news anchors – virtual personas backed by advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms – are transforming news presentation and consumption.
AI news anchors have the remarkable capability to process extensive datasets and interpret human speech patterns, enabling them to deliver news updates around the clock.
This technology has the power to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and diminish biases, and is likely to reshape the media landscape. But is this all good news?
In this article, we explore the emergence of AI news anchors, their impact on the media industry, and how the future of news reporting may look.
How Does It Work?
AI news anchors exemplify cutting-edge automation, being virtual entities akin to characters found in the realms of gaming and cartoons. These advanced AI anchors are brought to life through the application of state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms.
These powerful algorithms possess the ability to analyze vast quantities of diverse data, encompassing videos, news articles, audio recordings, and datasets, to craft remarkably lifelike representations of news presenters.
By harnessing the potential of natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning (DL) techniques, AI news anchors can emulate nearly human-like expressions and deliver news with a speech that is remarkably close to genuine human delivery.
The basic steps to create AI presenters are:
- Gather data and compile scripts;
- Train AI models;
- Craft the digital persona;
- Produce videos and other forms of media.
Some of the popular tools for creating AI news anchors are Deepfake Studio, Lumen5, Synthesia, and Wibbitz.
The Impact of AI News Anchors on the Media Industry
Generative AI is a game-changing technology, impacting every sphere of our lives. The media and news industry is concerned with some of the questions about the impact on journalism and content delivery.
Recent surveys conducted among global journalists, editorial managers, and other news professionals in May/April 2023 revealed fascinating insights.
Nearly half of the respondents (49%) reported that their newsrooms are already utilizing tools like ChatGPT. Moreover, an impressive 70% of the participants expressed their belief in the potential of generative AI tools to be highly beneficial in this domain.
On the news anchoring side, AI presenters are disrupting the way content is delivered. Interestingly, Asian countries have taken the lead in this area, with India introducing its first AI regional news anchor named Lisa.
Some immediate impacts include:
- Optimized Efficiency and Cost: AI news anchors are developed to boost news production efficiency and cost optimization. They can work tirelessly without breaks, delivering real-time updates 24/7 to a global audience. Overall, news production becomes more economically viable in a fragmented market.
- Customization and Multilingual Versatility: Customizable AI news anchors can deliver news in various languages, allowing news organizations to engage new viewers and expand their reach. Viewers can choose preferred AI anchors based on language, accent, and appearance.
- Advanced News Delivery: AI news anchors have been designed to process vast amounts of information in real time. They can quickly analyze complex data and present it concisely and meaningfully to the viewers. The audience is able to stay informed about the latest developments across finance, sports, politics, and entertainment.
- Combating Biases and Misinformation: AI news anchors can eliminate emotional influence, bias, and misinformation. Unlike human anchors, who may introduce personal opinions and inaccuracies, AI presenters can be tasked to rely only on data, reducing the risk of subjective interpretations or deliberate distortions.
Hurdles and Boundaries of AI News Anchors
While AI presenters have the potential to enhance news delivery and increase efficiency, their successful integration into the journalism industry relies on addressing the challenges and limitations.
The following are some of the challenges:
- Absence of Human Touch: AI news anchors continue to lack the capability to exhibit a diverse range of emotions and expressions, which is a crucial factor in conveying empathy and establishing a human connection with the viewers.
- Presenting Biased Data: AI models are trained on data, and data can be biased. This can lead to presenting the information in an unfair way, affecting the credibility of the news anchors.
- Adapting in Real Time: AI presenters may face challenges in swiftly adapting to real-time data changes, such as sudden updates on news items or breaking news. Human anchors have the advantage of responding promptly to real-time updates and reacting accordingly. For AI models to handle such scenarios effectively, extensive training is necessary.
- Absence of Domain Expertise: AI news anchors may struggle with domain-specific knowledge, making it challenging for them to offer in-depth analysis and pose insightful follow-up questions on certain topics.
- Spreading Fake News: There are valid concerns regarding the possible misuse of AI, including the dissemination of fake news or propaganda.
- Infrastructure Requirement and Cost: The creation and implementation of AI news anchors may demand significant technical infrastructure and financial investments, which can cause challenges for smaller media organizations.
Are Human News Anchor Jobs at Risk?
In the journalism industry, a significant question looms: Are human news anchors at risk of losing their jobs?
The likely response is a resounding ‘NO.’
While AI presenters might partially supplement human reporters, they cannot replicate the precise outcomes delivered by human beings. Human attributes such as distinctive thinking, critical analysis, and investigative power are currently irreplaceable.
However, AI can contribute to the news production process and enhance news delivery efficiencies.
The emergence of AI news anchors is changing the face of news reporting.
As AI advances, virtual presenters will closely mimic human behavior, with natural language processing, deep learning, and sentiment analysis enabling AI anchors to deliver news with judgment and empathy.
However, concerns about unemployment, misinformation, and reliability exist. Ethical implications must be carefully considered to use AI news anchors responsibly.