Virtual news anchors seem to spread like wildfire across Asia. We've witnessed Xinhua present the news from China and applauded Lisa on becoming India’s first regional AI news anchor. Now tvOne, one of Indonesia’s most-watched broadcasting channels, has joined the party as well.
With a total of ten AI news anchors currently on board, it's evident that tvOne is making a bold investment in the potential of AI technology. The initial duo, Sasya and Nadira, were introduced on Kartini's Day and at the conclusion of Ramadan – both significant moments symbolizing change.
However, their team has undergone substantial expansion since those beginnings. Featured on tvOne's dedicated Instagram profile for AI news anchors (@tvoneai), the lineup now includes Bhoomi, Roni, Andini, Devano, Kiko, Anya, Rania, and Glenn. Each presenter possesses unique attributes catering to different demographic groups within the country.
Among the AI anchors, Nadira bears a striking resemblance to human presenter Fahada Indi, who has already dedicated four years to the TVOne studio. The virtual anchor not only replicates Indi's voice and movements but also adorns the same hijabs favored by Indi. However, Nadira's purpose isn't to replace Indi; they are coworkers.
The virtual anchor not only replicates Indi's voice and movements but also adorns the same hijabs favored by Indi
While Indi covers live news updates and reports from various locations, Nadira remains stationed within the studio, mirroring Indi's actions and gestures in real-time. Additionally, Nadira possesses a remarkable multilingual capacity: the channel's AI-driven translation system transforms her spoken words into British and American-accented English, Chinese, and even specific local dialects such as Javanese and Sundanese. This enables Nadira to present the news to more than 300 distinct ethnic groups.
AI systems possess the ability to swiftly and accurately read and process information, leading to reduced production times and costs. Moreover, their capacity to deliver significant events to a wide landscape of ethnic groups enhances accessibility for those who lack the resources to learn another language.
The integration of AI news anchors expands the horizons for news platforms, allowing for coverage of events in remote or potentially hazardous locations. However, it remains uncertain whether these AI entities can be regarded as bona fide employees, as they have yet to be included in TvOne's list of presenters on their official website.
But not everyone seems to be thrilled by the idea of AI taking over human jobs. Ironically Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the pioneering technology startup that brought ChatGPT into being, has recently conveyed worries about the potential influence of AI development.