AI News Presenter 'J-na' Debuts on Jeju's Weekly YouTube Program – Tech Times

Jeju’s provincial government has taken a futuristic step by hiring a virtual news anchor to helm its weekly YouTube program. Dubbed “J-na,” the computer-generated presenter delivers policy updates and local news from the island using scripts generated by artificial intelligence (AI).
The move comes as a cost-effective solution, with the program’s management handled by a private contractor company, priced at 600,000 won ($450) per month.
Explaining the decision, a Jeju official stated, “Employing human news presenters incurs significant costs, so we sought an alternative and opted for J-na.” The name “J-na” is derived from combining the initial letters of “Jeju,” “News,” and “AI,” per The Straits Times.

In the latest segment of “Weekly Jeju,” which aired on March 8 on the province’s official YouTube channel and website, J-na appeared in a blue dress, delivering the news with occasional subtle movements to mimic natural gestures. To ensure accessibility, a sign language expert provided simultaneous interpretation of J-na’s reports in a corner of the screen.
This isn’t the first instance of AI news presenters making their debut in Korea. On November 6, 2020, MBN, a local broadcaster, unveiled an AI news presenter modeled after a human named Kim Joo-ha. The broadcaster has since incorporated daily programs featuring the AI news anchor.

Furthermore, in early 2023, SBS introduced Zae-in, an AI-powered virtual human, for its current affairs segment titled “Morning Wide Part 3.” Zae-in, created by AI company Pulse9, also doubles as a member of the virtual girl band Eternity.
YTN, the cable news channel, marked its 30th anniversary in September 2023 by introducing AI news presenters Y-Go and Y-On, representing male and female anchors, respectively. These virtual presenters, created by AI developer ESTsoft, are constructed by blending the faces of YTN employees.
Read Also: North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Seen Here Driving New Battle Tank
SKOREA-SOCIAL-MEDIA-GENDER

This picture taken on February 6, 2020 shows South Korean news anchor Lee So-jeong attending a rehearsal of a primetime newscast at KBS, South Korea’s national public broadcaster, in Seoul.
(Photo : JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

Last year, the introduction of AI news presenters faced backlash in the Philippines. GMA Network’s introduction of two AI sportscasters named Maia and Marco aimed to pioneer the shifting media landscape. However, Filipino journalists are expressing their reservations about using AI reporters to cover local sports.
Despite the push for technological advancements, there was a notable public outcry against GMA Network and its decision to employ these AI avatars. Members of the sports and media industry in the Philippines are voicing their concerns about the Philippines’ major broadcasting network’s use of AI news presenters, with many expressing their opposition to the use of this technology, as previously reported by TechTimes.
Veteran sports broadcaster Anthony Suntay has openly opposed the integration of generative AI in Philippine media, stating his disapproval by saying he is “not in favor of it.” He emphasized that AI “cannot replicate” the “love and passion for the game” that human reporters bring.
Noli Eala, chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission, has also publicly expressed his stance on AI. While acknowledging the importance of progress, he firmly rejected AI and emphasized his commitment to traditional approaches.
AI has the potential to replace about 300 million full-time positions, according to a report from investment bank Goldman Sachs. The report suggests that AI could automate a quarter of work tasks across the United States and Europe, potentially leading to the creation of new employment opportunities and a surge in productivity, per Nexford University.
Furthermore, it forecasts a potential 7% increase in the total annual value of global goods and services. The report also warns that about two-thirds of jobs in the U.S. and Europe face some level of exposure to AI automation, with approximately 25% of all jobs having the potential to be completely performed by AI technology.
Related Article: New Study Claims AI, Robots, New Tech in Workplace Deteriorates Quality of Life
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