Watch: Could AI robots soon be reading the news?

The European language technology company TILDE and the Latvian digital media company DELFI have joined forced to create Laura, a Latvian speaking news anchor. Using the innovative deep machine learning techniques, Laura has been able to learn how to copy and emulate the same speech tonalities, flow and rhythm of a popular Latvian news anchor.

The news comes only three months after Xinhua, the Chinese news agency launched their own AI news anchor. The news of Laura has encouraged numerous European tech and media companies to begin exploring their own ways to further curate and tailor news delivery to users.

Speaking to the Irish Tech News, TILDE CEO Andrejs Vasiļjevs said, ‘We are excited to facilitate digital innovation in news media. Baltic countries are an excellent playground to pilot new AI applications and test technologies that are based on European values of inclusiveness and language diversity. The DELFI AI news anchor joins the range of virtual assistants developed on the Tilde.AI platform that already serves companies, education institutions, and more recently Government communication with citizens.’

Looking through the applications for the AI news anchor is the prospect that it could be used to help those with visual impairment and reading disabilities

According to the DELFI CEO, Konstantins Kuzikovs, the company sees this new innovation as much as about function as it about convenience.

‘A lot of people in Latvia already spend a significant time in the DELFI news portal. We wanted to provide our readers a possibility to use our service in a more convenient, safer and responsible way, for example when they are driving a car, doing sports or simply relaxing. Audionews is the future and we want to create a tool, which will change the habits of content use’, Kuzikovs told the Irish Tech News.