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Shanghai TV station deploys 'robot' weather reporter

By Ians

Shanghai, Dec 24: Shanghai Dragon TV has employed an artificial intelligence (AI) robot as a weather reporter on its live breakfast show.

"I'm happy to start my new work on the winter solstice," said "XiaoIce" during her debut on Tuesday morning.


"XiaoIce" is actually a piece of software developed by Microsoft using smart cloud and big data, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the first two days of her work, XiaoIce has impressed many with her cute voice. She also comments on big news events.

According to Microsoft, breakthroughs in text-to-speech AI have helped XiaoIce to score high points for linguistic naturalness, and hers is closer to the human voice than other speech synthesizers. Through unique emotional technology, she can make comments instantly based on weather data.

After her successful debut, people are worried that "XiaoIce" could cause traditional TV anchors and weather reporters to lose their jobs.

Song Jiongming, director of TV news for the Shanghai Media Group, pointed out that human anchors will not be completely replaced by "XiaoIce" in the near term, but the robot will supplement humans with her big data analysis capability.


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