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China Introduces Disturbingly Real Female AI News Anchor

FEBRUARY 22, 2019

By Tyler Durden

Three months after China unveiled its first disturbingly realistic AI male anchor, state-run news agency, Xinhua, unveiled “the world’s first female AI news anchor” to compliment her male predecessor, according to The National. No word if she’ll shoot him knowing glares as he flirts with the weather girl.

China Xinhua News

@XHNews

Xinhua’s male anchor can now broadcast news in a standing position, with more body language

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China Xinhua News

@XHNews

Xinhua unveils world’s first female news anchor pic.twitter.com/Faj3Mk69y1

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Her name is Xin Xiaomeng – and was developed in a joint collaboration between Xinhua and search engine company Sogu.

Aside from a few seemingly stiff facial muscles, Xiaomeng is remarkably life-like, complete with hand adjustments during piece-to-cameras, and just enough on-cue blinking.

The computer-generated journalist was modelled after real-life Xinhua news anchor Qu Meng, whose voice and image provided inspiration for developers. –The National

Xiaomeng will join the state-run broadcaster’s two male AI anchors – one of which received a major upgrade to improve his realism, as well as a name; Xin Xiaohao.

Xin showed off his new human-like body language, bragging: “Henceforth, rather than working behind the desk, I’ll be broadcasting the news in front of the desk. Instead, I’ll be broadcasting from a standing position. I can make more hand gestures and facial expressions,” he said, adding: “Now I have my own name, Xin Xiaohao. Thanks to this upgrade, I’ll be able to conduct better broadcasts.”

We hear they have perfect social credit scores and recommend complying with all government directives.

India Officially Swears in Its First-Ever Robot Police Officer

FEBRUARY 22, 2019

By Elias Marat

As the world increasingly turns toward automation, science fiction is fast becoming a reality as automated solutions spring up both on the battlefield and in civilian life.

And in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, a new type of police officer has been sworn in – a robot cop named KP-Bot.

While the humanoid robot looks more like something one would find in Disneyland than the sci-fi RoboCop that patrolled the streets of Old Detroit in the classic 1987 cyberpunk film, the KP-Bot has already attained the rank of a Sub Inspector and, per India Today, already knows how to practice a “perfect salute.”

“Which presumably just means that it didn’t karate chop its own head off in the process,” Futurism writer Dan Robitzski joked.

The KP-Bot is part of a push to integrate robots into the police force, which was announced last year by the state police chief at the Cocoon Cyber Conference, according to India Today.

However, the KP-Bot isn’t quite ready to man a black-and-white or engage in beat cop activities; the female-featured robot will be restricted to the traditionally gendered occupational role of receptionist – greeting visitors in the front lobby, arranging appointments with officers, providing identity cards, filing grievances, and directing guests to different locations in the police station.

Indeed, Assistant Police Deputy Manoj Abraham has already dubbed KP-Bot a bona fide “woman,” while director general of police Lognath Behra claimed:

Women empowerment and gender equality were kept in mind while deciding on the gender of the first robot. Also, the fact that most front office jobs are managed by women was considered.

Technologists in the state also hope to equip the KP-Bot with features more befitting your typical android officer, such as facial recognition and the ability to detect explosives.

Kerala’s police are far from the first organization to introduce robots into their suite of tools.

Silicon Valley startup Knightscope attracted the public spotlight after its own robot cop, the Knightscope K5 – billed in promo materials as “a game changer for security operations everywhere” – had a number of public incidents of “misconduct.”

Brendan@SparkleOps

It’s ok security robot. It’s a stressful job, we’ve all been there.

In 2016, the 5-foot-tall, 300-pound cone-shaped automaton and private security robot – which behaves similar to a Roomba – ran over the foot of a 16-month-old baby in a hit-and-run incident in Palo Alto, California. In April  2017, the robot cop was involved in a public brawl in Mountain View, when a drunken 41-year-old decided it would be a good idea to run and tackle the droid.

A few months later, the Knightscope K5 capped its track record of embarrassments with a humiliating fall into a public fountain in Georgetown, Washington, which social media users speculated was either a case of “suicide” resulting from job-related stress, or even a “baptism” by the company.

Given such a sorry run for the Knightscope K5, it may be a good idea to restrict the KP-Bot to desk duty while “she” remains a rookie.

This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.