News at Seven - is it pointless

The NewsatSeven claims to automatically generate a virtual newscast (3d avatar environment) pulled from stories, images, videos and blogs all linked by a common news topic. News at Seven was developed at Northwestern University’s Intelligent Information Laboratory (InfoLab).

Full details are here

Graphically its a step up from Ananova which was the world's first virtual newscaster, which combined digital animations in the form of an avatar and text-to-speech technology to produce live news. Ananova is now owned by Orange and presently seems to be under renovation.

The major difference is clearly the automatic generation of the script, which seems similar to how I understand Google's news page operates.

Whilst the tech achievement is impressive, does a mashup of the two components add value? I can envisage that those with visual impairments may value the service. Beyond that, I personally find the service a little gimmicky. It's faster to read the headlines than to watch/listen and I find the use of CGI distracting. Nonetheless, with more thought on my part, I'm sure it will be possible to think of some fascinating applications for this.

posted by John Wilson @ 12:14 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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