Well, this escalated quickly.

So, the Chinese government has found a way to cut costs and add speed to their news broadcasting by using a virtual news anchor modeled on a human. I wouldn’t actually characterise this as ‘artificial intelligence’ since it’s rather a virtual puppet running on text inputs and some advanced machine learning algorithms.

Besides the implications of state-run news reporting in totalitarian states, there’s no denying that these deepfake technologies might be something that we’ll have to get used to in the future. Some will argue that they would rather have their news delivered by a real person, but as this technology matures, there’s nothing to say that each and every one of us will have different virtual news anchors in our feeds based on our unique individual traits, behaviours, and preferences1.

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  1. In China, they’ll probably be able to tailor the news reporting according to their recently implemented social credit system. Black Mirror, anyone?

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