News at Seven

This is a pretty amazing bit of technology. Watching it is not a great experience, but it demonstrates a lot of little technologies assembled together to produce some cool results.

They scrape the web (blogs, news sources, etc) daily for what’s newsworthy, come up with a summary (automatically) and have a text-to-speech engine and some computer animated people deliver it. They also scrape for images and videos to run behind the people much like in the news. The voices are surprisingly choppy and non-human, but it’s still cool that every bit of the process is automated:

I watched the 11/17 update and it’s kind of funny how the videos map to what she’s saying. At one point she mentioned Bush, and the video of him flipping off the camera played in the background.