China’s Xinhua Unveils ‘Xin Xiaomeng,’ Robot Journalist Introduced Via Flawless TV News Reporting
China's Xinhua news agency revealed its latest robot news anchor on Sunday, March 3. The lifelike female AI imitates exact human mannerisms, movements and facial expressions as she delivers a story about delegates who were attending the annual parliament meeting in Beijing.
Xinhua presented the AI robot through a one-minute video and at the opening of her report segment that lasted for about a minute, the AI news anchor introduced herself as Xin Xiaomeng. She has a short haircut and dons a pink blouse with black vertical design on one side. Her "journalist" looks were completed by a pair of dangling earrings.
The Straits Times reported that Xinhua and Sogou Inc., a search engine and technology company headquartered in China, teamed up to create Xin Xiaomeng. It was added that the newest AI robot news anchor was modeled after real-life Xinhua news commentator Qu Meng and she is the latest addition to the news agency's lineup of robot TV news reporters.
In November 2018, Xinhua introduced two artificial intelligence newscasters and they were males. They were unveiled during the World Internet Conference that was held in eastern China's Wuzhen.
Incidentally, as Xinhua introduced the world's first female journalist, Xin Xiaomeng, the tech company also mentioned in its Facebook post that the male AI anchor that they launched last year has been developed further and it can now make more natural hand gestures and expressions.
The company uploaded a video of the AI robot and he mentioned his new features such as being able to deliver a report standing instead of behind a desk. He said that his body language also got better and he has a name now too. He said he is Xin Xiahao and thanked his creators for the upgrade that will enable him to conduct better broadcast.
"Remember Xinhua's first #AI anchor "who" made his first appearance last year?" the caption on the social media post reads. "Now he can make more hand gestures and facial expressions! He also now has a colleague as Xinhua unveils the world's first female AI anchor."
Likewise, as can be seen in the clip, Xin Xiahao looks perfect that it is hard to believe he is an AI robot. He displayed almost flawless lip movements, he can smile, wink and do subtle head nods as well.
China has been focusing on AI-journalism technology for years and the country is doing a good job so far. Its first attempt failed when it introduced Jia Jia, a female news reporter. President Xi stated that his country is aiming to become the world's leading AI innovation hub by 2030.