Virtual speakers on Chinese TV. Is it the future of journalism?

Ideal journalist: he is not tired, complains, has no salary, does not need insurance and … there is no moral resistance. Chinese TV Xinhua showed a virtual moderator.

His voice is fortunate (at least for other living journalists) so robotic that it is hard to think about how the mainstream of the information programs is kept. But you have to admit that it looks really realistic.

Based on facial expressions, the real person uses a speech synthesizer and his face is the effect of DeepFake technology. You could have read it on our site, only in connection with the possibility to use it to create false information and discredit pornographic material.

This algorithm allows you to literally insert any face into another in the movie. With the help of a complicated engine, it animates and adapts the model's movements to the movie, so one can feel that the movie has an embedded character.

The engine has recently become known when US President Donald Trump has seriously offended former President Barack Obama on a video at BuzzFeed News. Soon after, it turned out that the film was fake with DeepFake technology and the president-dressed comedian Jordan Peel "stuck" Obama's face to the computer.

Will Virtual Moderators Replace Live? Rather, do not worry, at least in the near future. Although the Xinhua broadcaster can speak both in Chinese and in English, the synthesizer can not mimic the intonation and nature of the human language, and this affects the impression of artists. On the other hand, such a solution in a country known for internet censorship and very "free" treatment of human rights can be useful as an information tool that can always be programmed on a party line.

Chinese moderator is not the first television star. In 1985, Max Headroom, a virtual lecturer with cut-up tongue, light hair, and disturbing digital tics, debuted on Channel 4 of the Channel 4. Personalization of American hardware media yuppie, who also loved and feared. First, he was just a vision in the cyberpunk movie "He Titled 20 Minutes To The Future", then he received his own show, appeared in commercials, computer games and became persistent enough in pop culture that he returned to the first stage of the year 2015 in the movie "Pixels".

Max's story is particularly interesting due to mysterious incidents of TV piracy. In 1987, unknown offenders joined the two stations in Chicago. A man appeared on the screen on a distinctive background, wearing a mask from Max and his dark glasses. He took twice the signal, for the first time during the information service, for the second time, interrupted episodes of the popular series. He disappointed himself with Max Hacker, laughed at TV presenters and pretended to be defaced, and called him a "masterpiece for shots from the world's largest newspapers." In this way, he referred to the name of the WGN-TV channel (the world's largest daily newspaper) and was never found. and the use of Max Headroom is one of the most famous events in the history of television hacking.

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