There is an individual named Joon who delivers news reports in Bahasa Melayu during Astro AWANI’s 7:45 news broadcast. Joon can speak many different languages, and he is very skilled at delivering engaging and informative news segments. However, many people do not realize that Joon is not a human being – he is actually an AI avatar created specifically to deliver news with exceptional fluency.
Joon is not the only AI avatar that appears on Astro AWANI’s channel 501. Another AI avatar named Monica, who has a Scandinavian appearance, joins the discussion on the Agenda AWANI talk show at 8:30 PM on the same day. Both Joon and Monica add a new element to the discussion, and their brief appearances provide an indication that the influence of the ‘Generative AI’ wave on newsroom operations has commenced.
According to Astro AWANI’s Editor-in-Chief, Ashwad Ismail, the development of AI avatars like Joon and Monica holds significant importance. While they are not intended to challenge or replace existing human talents, they aim to enhance and strengthen the quality of human individuals and the products they create. Astro AWANI, being the leading news and future affairs channel in Malaysia, consistently strives to utilize technology in providing well-rounded and constructive information, as well as conducting talk shows, dialogues, and debates.
The question of whether AI will replace journalists is a complex one. While certain jobs may easily be replaced by AI, the field of journalism requires human involvement to ensure that journalistic quality and ethics are prioritized. A survey conducted by Astro AWANI’s ‘Multiformat News Innovation’ unit found that AI technology can expedite certain tasks compared to traditional methods, but it still requires the involvement of human journalists to ensure that the information presented is accurate, balanced, and ethical.
The waves of change resulting from the explosion of technology will continue to impact humans across sectors and industries. As such, it is crucial that we not only accept technology as users but also cultivate a determined and philosophical mindset that allows us to become ‘changemakers’ who contribute to the progress and dignity of humanity as qualified stewards of the Earth. – Astro Awani
10 May 2023