Mixed Feelings As Virtual News Anchor Goes on Air

Written by: 
Moureen Acham


Just days after a virtual news anchor started reading news in China, some Ugandan journalists say the development signals tough times ahead.

China state news agency, Xinhua, unveiled its artificial  intelligence news on Wednesday 7th November  at an internet conference in the Eastern Chinese city of Wuzhen.

"Hello, you are watching English News program, I am AI News anchor in Beijing,” said the AI anchor named Qiu Hao. 

“Not only can I accompany you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I can be endlessly copied and present at different scenes to bring you the news,” he added.

 The AI anchor was generated and developed by Xinhua a Chinese search Engine Company Sogou to simulate human voices, face expressions and gestures. 

Speaking to Rachel Mwine, until recently a News anchor at  NTV Uganda, she said, "Well I am not surprised by the News, though I must admit the concept would be really new to Ugandan media".

Robert Madoi, a News Producer at NTV who also teaches at Makerere University, said he had not really had of the concept of the virtual News anchoring, but noted that this will not be good News to Ugandan journalism.

Lindrio Brenda, a second year journalism student said, "We already have a lot of competition  within  ourselves  and now robots, OK let's see where this ends".