Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit:

AI avatars of Chinese authors could soon narrate audiobooks

Like the AI news anchors used by Xinhua, these avatars are promised to be 'lifelike.'
698 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Sogou / BBC

The Chinese search engine Sogou isn't stopping at AI news anchors. The company has created "lifelike" avatars of two Chinese authors, and it plans to have them narrate audiobooks in video recordings. According to the BBC, Sogou used AI, text-to-speech technology and video clips from the China Online Literature+ conference to create avatars of authors Yue Guan and Bu Xin Tian Shang Diao Xian Bing.

While text-to-speech technology can quickly create new audiobooks, the BBC says consumers prefer audiobooks narrated by authors, actors or famous public figures. With AI avatars, Sogou might be able to combine text-to-speech with the likeness of celebrities to create the illusion that audiobooks are being read by real people.

Sogou's AI news anchors have been on air since last fall, working for China's state-run news agency Xinhua. While they were advertised as lifelike and based on some of Xinhua's human anchors, it's still pretty obvious that you're watching avatars whose voices, facial expressions and mouth movements are synthesized using deep learning techniques. It's hard to say if its audiobook narrators will be any more realistic.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
698 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

NASA will fund six more Artemis missions as it plans return to the moon

NASA will fund six more Artemis missions as it plans return to the moon

View
Google reveals its new Nest smart speaker

Google reveals its new Nest smart speaker

View
Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

View
Apple's iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 public betas are available today

Apple's iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 public betas are available today

View
Probe of failed Boeing Starliner launch finds a long list of problems

Probe of failed Boeing Starliner launch finds a long list of problems

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr