Artificial intelligence
The new Channel 1 will use AI avatars to deliver informative and entertaining stories. Wikimedia Commons

Channel 1 News, a newly introduced artificial intelligence (AI)-generated news show, has released its first demo episode featuring virtual anchors and reporters.

While Channel 1 is slated to launch in February, the recently released demo episode on X gives us an idea of what could be in the offing.

In the episode, a lifelike avatar presenter opens the show just like a human anchor would on a news channel. The episode showcases real and generated clips that align with what the anchor is saying.

A second avatar then appears on the screen to explain the concept in more detail. Channel 1 is a technology and media startup spearheaded by Adam Mosam and producer Scott Zabielski.

It is ideal for global distribution since every video is translated into different languages and output is adjusted based on viewers' interests.

Channel 1 news source

If the promotional video is anything to go by, Channel 1 stories will be based on sources around the world. While this is similar to how most news websites operate, the most notable difference with Channel 1 News is that story selection and editorial decisions will be taken in part by AI.

However, it is worth noting that humans will be playing vital roles in this generative AI program. For instance, trained editors will handle the editing and production department, while journalists will write the copy.

Some story selection and the on-screen output will come from the AI. Likewise, some segments where "cameras don't have access" will be generated by AI as well.

Channel 1 stories will be drawn from 3 sources including independent journalists who are paid a freelance rate, AI-generated news from government documents and other reliable sources. The channel will also use reporting from an outside agency.

Ensuring accuracy

In an interview with Deadline, Mosam explained that every step of the editorial process will be overseen by humans. Channel 1 is "very clear that the audience at every point in time knows exactly what they are looking at if there has been some sort of AI modification," he added.

About eleven people including a yet-to-be-hired Editor-in-Chief will be part of the staff. Understandably, Channel 1's production costs will be cheaper than traditional news networks since it doesn't employ crews to accumulate material or reporters to investigate and analyse complex documents.

The involvement of AI in the visuals of a segment or the use of technology to change something will be represented by an icon that will appear in the corner of the screen. The icon will also be displayed when translation algorithms have been used on real people.

Channel 1 availability

Channel 1 is likely to launch on streaming services like X early next year. It could also arrive on other traditional platforms including FAST. According to Mosam, Channel 1's goal is to have viewers watch using an app which lets them customise various aspects of their viewing experience.

This could turn out to be a major step forward towards creating a 4-day workweek as predicted by Nobel Prize-winning economist Christopher Pissarides.

While it will be interesting to see whether AI avatars will completely replace human newscasters in the future, billionaire Bill Gates has previously indicated that AI chatbots like ChatGPT can replace human teachers in the coming years.