Did you notice? The Weather Network launches first ever AI-assisted avatar

Did you notice? The Weather Network launches first ever AI-assisted avatar

The Weather Network recently launched something groundbreaking throughout the month of May, but did you see it?

Meet The Weather Network's very first AI-Assisted avatar.

AIassistedvideo - Rachel Schoutsen
AIassistedvideo - Rachel Schoutsen

"We're weather. Weather is local, and there are a lot of different local communities, big and small. AI with Avatars and AI technology, we are able to deliver much more localized weather to every community in Canada and in the world," says Maureen Rogers, Managing Director of Editorial and Public Alerting for The Weather Network.

You may be wondering, what exactly is an avatar? An avatar is a video representation of a particular person. So while the video above looks and sounds like Rachel delivering the forecast, the image is AI generated mimicking the likeness of Rachel.

The launch of something like this came with a lot of mixed feelings, especially with using the technology in both a safe and professional way.

"We do things right. We do things respectfully for our internal staff and external communities, and so, it was important for us to lead the charge with this," Rogers adds.

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According to Nana Banerjee, President and CEO of Pelmorex Corporation, explicit consent and agreement to participate must be made when using the likeness of meteorologists or employees from the company. The team was completely guided and supported through the creation of this first avatar.

"We're in the business of challenging the status quo, experimenting often to revolutionize the way consumers' lives and experiences interact with weather," Banerjee says. "Companies in the weather media and information services sectors are ideally primed to take advantage of the extraordinary power of AI to better communicate life-saving information, tell entertaining stories, and help people make everyday decisions."

This by no means replaces the weather presenters you love watching on your screens. Instead, you may see avatars in a sponsored message like what was launched with Home Hardware. It can even help with delivering a hyper-local forecast, so more Canadians are reached with the weather details they need.

With the magic of AI, communities and local economies are provided with opportunities to prepare and respond to weather-related events, with users staying safe and informed at all times.

Watch the video above for more on this new AI-assisted avatar at The Weather Network.