In the great media reshuffling ushered in by the Internet Age, print journalists have suffered the most from online journalism's ascent. Broadcast journalists, however, may be the next group to feel technology's cruel sting. Engineers at Northwestern University have created virtual newscasts that use artificial intelligence to collect stories, produce graphics and even anchor broadcasts via avatars.
The project, dubbed "News At Seven," goes beyond simply regurgitating news stories gleaned from the Web. The system can generate opinionated content like movie reviews or pull the most relevant facts from a box score to pen a hometown sports story. The AI is even learning to crack wise, injecting humor into reports. But don't take our human-generated word for it, check out the NSF video below.
Anyone else get a "server not found" error for the video?
Clay I question your use of the term AI. As smart as this program may be, the notion that we have self-aware virtual newscasters is a little hard to believe. Perhaps society needs to coin a phrase for an intermediate system between regular programming and artificial intelligence, because AI is being thrown around far too much.
Other then that, sucks to be a broadcast journalist right now...
I like the concept and it needs a lot more tweeks on the avatars to get rid of that cartoon look, but do we really want to bring this on the market when we are 30,000,000 jobs in the hole? I think a lot of reporters will be going "postal" on this one. It would be more beneficial to have the avatars read the news to blind people and stories to children when dad can't be there to read them that good night story.
These virtual characters are very similar to the animation provided in talkingdesktop software when it listens and talks to you.