UAE gets first Arabic speaking AI news anchor

UAE gets first Arabic speaking AI news anchor

Abu Dhabi - The announcement was made during a special signing ceremony at Abu Dhabi Media's headquarters.

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By Wam

Published: Mon 29 Apr 2019, 7:41 PM

An AI news anchor will start presenting news in Arabic and English on Abu Dhabi Media, ADM, channels, after Abu Dhabi Media Company signed an agreement with Sogou Inc., a Chinese internet industry company.
The partnership cements ADM's ongoing efforts to utilise the latest technologies and Sogou's leading AI capabilities. The agreement between ADM and Sogou was signed in cooperation with the UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. The AI News Anchor is the first Arabic-speaking in the world with the ability to interact through face expressions with the Arabic language.
The announcement was made during a special signing ceremony at ADM's headquarters in the presence of Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Director General of ADM, and Wang Yanfeng, General Manager of Voice Interaction Technology Centre of Sogou, signed the agreement.
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of ADM, explained that this step aligns with the Company's strategic plans which seek to keep up with digital advances in the media industry and adopt the latest available digital technologies, particularly in AI.
Al Kaabi said the AI news anchor will support ADM's efforts to provide guided and diverse content according to the highest international standards that meet the needs of the Company's large audience base across the Arab world.
Omar Al Olama said, "The use of artificial intelligence and technological tools in the media sector will result in a qualitative leap forward within the media landscape in the UAE and the wider region. The use of these advanced solutions will benefit the industry by enriching media content, supporting media research, and providing new opportunities for young professionals to build new skillsets suited to future media channels. The deployment of this advanced technology presents us with the opportunity to further define the future of the sector in a way that benefits all members of society."
"These new developments within the media sector are in line with the UAE Government's strategy of developing unique new models and systems built around artificial intelligence and advanced technologies that support the nation's transformation into a knowledge based society and economy," he added.
Incorporating the industry-leading algorithms and latest advances in speech synthesis, image detection and deep learning, the AI news anchor presents a lifelike resemblance of a professional human anchor, providing an increasingly seamless experience for viewers. With Sogou's technology, textual input can be transformed into corresponding lip movements, providing users with a highly customizable interactive experience. With a focus on natural language processing and machine learning, Sogou has developed industry-leading capabilities in real-time audio and video synthesis.
Together, ADM and Sogou are working to explore how technological innovation can be better integrated across media platforms, providing high quality programming for audiences worldwide.
With the integration of the AI news anchor, ADM's platform will be able to provide news broadcasts more efficiently, in a range of engaging formats, and potentially 24/7/365. Sogou's technology not only provides innovative solutions for traditional media channels but also works to facilitate more natural interactions between humans and machines.
Dr Tamim said that by launching the AI news anchor, ADM is writing a new chapter in Arab media. It also keeps pace with the Company's efforts to develop all its brands according to strategic plans that aim to realize a quantum leap in providing media content across digital, TV, print, and audio platforms.
He added, "Through this agreement, Abu Dhabi Media will develop this technology and present it to its audience, enhancing the company's presence and the quality of its content, further bolstering its leading position as one of the most prestigious media establishments in the region and the world."
Wang Yanfeng said, "We are extremely pleased to partner with Abu Dhabi Media, a pioneering multi-platform media and entertainment organization. We look forward to sharing our AI News Anchor technology with an increasingly global audience. This marks the first time that Sogou's AI News Anchor technology is being leveraged by an international media platform, and together we are thrilled to bring the AI News Anchor to Arabic-speaking viewers."

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