Bot anchors come to life! Will they turn up the decibels on fake news and agenda?

The employment of data analysts and scientists, big data specialists, AI machine learning specialists and cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow on average by 30 per cent by 2027. Representational image

The Capture, British conspiracy thriller series that debuted in 2019 and continued through 2022, narrates an evocative story involving deepfake technology, used to falsely mimic human features or voices in audio visual media. The Holliday Grainger and Paapa Essiedu-starrer portrays the dangers of a powerful deepfake technology in the hands of the state. The idea that any nation-state could be subverted by someone who could deeply fake real-world footage to further their crazy agenda made for a terrifying TV drama last year, but six months further up, it has become an unbelievable reality, especially in the media world.

Many television news channels across the world have already introduced robotic news anchors powered by Artificial Intelligence. India Today’s group’s Hindi news channel Aaj Tak was the first to go on air with a regular news show anchored by a ‘female’ bot named Sana. The experiment comes close on heels of the entry of the AI aided chatbot, ChatGPT, into the newsroom, with several news magazines and portals putting out special issues using the new technology. Malayalam webzine, True Copy, put out an entire issue, with both fiction and non-fiction as content using ChatGPT.

“There were only two articles by human authors in that edition of our webzine, which we published in its entirety using ChatGPT. As editors, we have the responsibility of being sensitive to the time we live in. That is why we made the decision to make use of AI in the newsroom. How the idea of AI will affect human life was something we wanted to examine and politically assess,” TM Harshan, chief operating officer and associate editor of True Copy told The Federal.

A still from The Capture
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