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The first 247 AI news channel finally goes live

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

What happens when AI writes and reads the news using digital humans, well we’re going to find out …

 

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It was always going to happen – a fully automated news channel, and in time many other TV and radio channels – that’s run by nothing more than Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital humans. Channel 1 news, a new AI generated news show, has released its first demo episode – and none of the anchors are human.

The full 21-minute video episode comes from the American media startup hoping to transform the broadcast journalism sector.  Founded by producer and director Scott Zabielski (Tosh.0, The Jim Jefferies Show) and tech entrepreneur Adam Mosam, Channel 1 will launch this in 2024 to “give users a new more personal way to watch the news. Introducing a new personalized global news network, powered by generative AI.”

 

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The co-founders reportedly hope to produce between 500-1,000 segments per day which can be consumed via an ad-supported app or video platforms.

In the demo episode shown below we see sophisticated AI video generation and advanced rendering of avatar presenters which are scarily realistic. The voiceovers are smooth and even the lip movements are of a passable standard.

 

 

 

Writing on LinkedIn Mosam said the Channel “has the potential to bring us closer together, access stories in a new way and experience events like never before.”

However, whether those news stories are accurate, false, include disinformation, well who knows … and that’s yet another news story in itself.

In the short term though the only real good news is the robots won’t be taking over the news industry quite yet. But it likely won’t be too long now before they start becoming ubiquitous. Humans are very much still needed.

 

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Channel 1 has flesh and blood editors and producers who are involved in checking the accuracy of what ends up on screen. As for the stories themselves, they come from “trusted news sources”. These days that’s a highly subjective term but it is likely to mean established mainstream newswires provided by the likes of the Associated Press, Reuters, Press Association and similar. However, exactly which services are used is not clarified.

To explain more let’s allow Channel 1’s anchors to explain: “Here’s what [Channel 1] is not: It’s not fake news. There isn’t a computer somewhere writing its own news stories writing about things that haven’t happened. Our system relies only on trusted news sources to bring together the best journalism on any topic from around the world into a single news program.

“We’ll also be using artificial intelligence technology in a number of other ways. For instance, thanks to our translation capabilities we can feature on-the-ground, real-life reporters from around the world to get you closer to a particular story. In other cases, it’s even possible to create footage of events where cameras were not able to capture it.”

 

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Is there a risk viewers could be duped by false imagery? Yes. But Channel 1 says they have that covered as well, although let’s see how long that lasts … In incidences where AI-generated imagery is used to add context or alter sources, onscreen graphics, they say, will indicate the nature of the alteration – provided they are in charge of those graphics or even know about them in the first place if they’re from external sources.

Founded this year, the company hopes its service will address the need for fast news delivery, pushback against fake news, and create free, accessible global news.

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