Abu Dhabi Media will debut an AI anchor, marking a first in the Arab world and becoming the first technology of its kind exported by its Chinese makers. Klaleej Times reports Abu Dhabi Media has signed an agreement with Sogou, the Chinese internet and AI developer that, with Xinhua News Agency, developed the world’s first AI anchors.
They say their newest AI figure will present the news in Arabic and English on ADM’s channels.
It’s a three-way agreement between Sogou, ADM, and the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence of the United Arab Emirates.
In China, the first three AI figures were fashioned after well-known news anchors on Xinhua News Agency, the state television service where the first two AI anchors were first deployed in November 2018. A third joined in February 2019.
A joint statement for the UAE announcement says, ‘the AI news anchor presents a lifelike resemblance of a professional human anchor, providing an increasingly seamless experience for viewers.’
The AI figure is expected to be ready within a year, speaking in English first, then Arabic, and to be ‘
- Making sales outside of China is strategically valuable for Sogou, which
in2017 raised US$585m for their AI projects. Their first AI anchors could be seen as demonstration projects. This deal signals their commercialization as products.
- Their value proposition for AI anchors continues to focus on cost-savings and overall efficiencies. The first AI anchor introduced itself by saying it would be ‘working tirelessly to bring you the news.’ This announcement continues that theme.
- Two things to watch: (1) How long will it take for the newest AI anchor to appear on air? The interval will suggest the complexity of adapting the technology to new markets. (2) Will other broadcasters follow suit?
‘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.’
UAE gets first Arabic speaking AI news anchor
KLALEEJ TIMES | April 29, 2019
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- Sogou’s GM on the development of ADM’s AI news anchor | BROADCAST PRO | July 8, 2019 | by Vijaya Cherian | ‘The pronunciation and expression of Arabic news anchors are different from English and Chinese news anchors… such as the Arabic writing system, vowel recognition and the gender, number and case of Arabic words, that pose challenges to Arabic speech synthesis.’