AI-powered virtual news anchor comes to South Korean TV

An artificial intelligence-powered virtual news anchor resembling a real-life female presenter has appeared on South Korean TV channel MBN.

The virtual anchor was created using 10 hours of footage of the channel’s star anchorwoman, Kim Ju Ha.

The broadcaster hopes the avatar will be particularly useful during disaster emergencies when it would be difficult to quickly assemble presenters, staff and equipment necessary to produce a breaking news segment.

The virtual anchor does not need any makeup, outfits or rehearsals. It takes just a minute to produce virtual anchor footage for a news piece up to 1,000 words long.

The virtual Kim lookalike debuted as an “AI-caster” during a news program on Nov. 6. Differences between the two Kims’ voices, facial expressions and gestures are barely discernible.

The real Kim, who engaged in an on-air conversation with her virtual self said she feels concerned that a virtual anchor could threaten her position someday.

“I will work hard to convey warm feelings as a human that cannot be mimicked by AI just yet,” she said.

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