In regards to chinese state run media, there are already some concerns that the difference between newscasters and puppets is that the puppets don’t breathe. Recently, an AI news anchor was introduced at the World Internet Conference in China and with that, the world is another step closer to that reality. The AI anchor was created in partnership between Xinhua News Agency, and a Chinese search engine company, sogou.com. The Chinese news agency is thrilled and impressed and claims that the character can read texts like a professional news anchor. The two versions of the AI anchors are now available on Xinhua through their apps, WeChat account, and other online news channels as well.
The AI anchor was modeled after an existing anchor. Xinhua points out that the AI anchor can work for 24 hours a day, depending on the inputs it gets from humans. The voice of the anchor is a little robotic with a jumpy mouth, but it is still quite convincing. The scary part about this AI anchor is that it can be fed with fake news as well and it will never resist to narrate them. Completely faked original content can also be transmitted through them. The videos called DeepFakes show some people saying things that they never said in reality. Buzzfeed News worked with actor and director Jordan Peele to create a fake video of President Barack Obama.
Photoshop and similar companies are also working on technology to synthesize audio. A Canadian startup Lyrebird claims that it can fake anyone’s voice by using a minute of the actual recording of their sound. The technology will enhance further in the future, and our ability to find if what we are hearing is the truth or not will get much worse.