Katie Couric, Watch Your Back
Broadcast news will never again be the same, as Ananova, the world's first computer-generated virtual newscaster, made her somewhat-shaky debut on the Internet yesterday from her home in the United Kingdom.
A year in the making, this virtual broadcaster is a technological marvel, "reading" the news headlines with all of the head and eye motions of today's top news anchors. While her voice inflections are still reminiscent of "computer talk," this first generation of online virtual broadcasters may change forever the way that news is delivered to us on the Internet.
Don't know what a virtual newscaster is? If you can get through the intermittent service breakdowns as they work out the kinks, take a test drive of the new technology and see for yourself. (You'll need RealPlayer software to view a broadcast. You can download the "Basic" version of RealPlayer for free if you don't already have it installed.)
For those of you interested in the technology behind Ananova, "The A-Files" offer a glimpse of her development and hos she was designed.
In a related story, Motorola is developing "Mya," its own "talking Internet" spokesperson. Mya is intended to work with Motorola telephones, and will "speak" the news to you when you dial in to the Web from your Motorola phone.
We can't wait to see what's next . . .
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.