Korean Provincial Government Hires AI-Powered Virtual News Anchor

Virtual news anchors and presenters have been around for quite a while now, but they’ve gotten so good that Government organizations are using them to replace actual humans and save money.

The provincial government of Jeju Island, in South Korea, recently hired a news anchor to conduct its weekly YouTube program, Weekly Jeju, for a fraction of the cost of its former employees. J-na seems very experienced at her job despite her young age, but that’s only because she isn’t a real human, but a computer-generated virtual avatar managed by a private contractor. The news she appears to read on-screen is also a script generated by AI language models like ChatGPT. According to the island province, switching to a virtual news anchor was a much cheaper option, as J-na and the news generation script reportedly cost only 600,000 won ($450) per month.

“Employing human news presenters incurs significant costs, so we sought an alternative and opted for J-na,” a Jeju Island official told The Korea Herald.

Although J-na is currently in charge of delivering the news on a YouTube channel, the low cost of a virtual news anchor and the increase in quality is sure to make this sort of service appealing to cable news programs as well.


We’ve seen virtual news anchors used in countries like China and South Korea in the past, but mainly as technology showcases. J-na is one of the few examples where the price is almost more enticing than the novelty.