Northwestern University’s Infolab groups have developed a system by which a CPU can compile a newscast using existing images and stories from both mainstream news sources, as well as blogs. Once compiled, it presents the news using Valve Software’s Half Life 2 engine and a Text-to-Speech generator. That’s right, folks: Robot Newscasters!
Currently the system still uses some human input (auxillary scenes, camera work, and some scripting), but the goal is to eventually make the entire process wholly automated, thereby allowing users to effectively create their own personalized newscasts. The folks behind the idea have posted an interesting proof of concept clip, which you can view here.
Frankly, I kinda like the idea of Anderson Cooper being replaced by Barney.