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Qianqiu Shisong Qianqiu Shisong

Chinese state broadcaster China Media Group recently aired the country’s first animated series produced using generative AI models in all production areas.

Titled Qianqiu Shisong, the series includes 26 seven-minute episodes and features animated retellings of traditional Chinese poems and verses. The show was produced using China Media’s CMG Media GPT, a machine-learning model co-developed by the network and the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL).

The series’ launch coincided with a ribbon-cutting for CMG and SAIL’s new AI studio, which the broadcaster plans to use to boost research and development for future programs.

At the launch of the facility, SAIL researcher Wang Yanfeng said:

Facing the country’s major needs, CMG has applied novel AI technology to develop new productive forces. We started the project six months ago, and CMG produced the animated series presented to you today using its massive database and adopting the text-to-video AI technology.

CMG Media GPT was trained using traditional Chinese poetry and large amounts of video and audio materials from China Media’s catalog. SAIL says the model can create images and scenes in a traditional Chinese ink-wash style that features historically accurate architectural designs and clothing details.

In a release, SAIL explained:

The CMG Media GPT provides animation producers with a low-cost and efficient concept-design tool for character and scene designs.

According to the lab, artificial intelligence was used in every stage of the development and production processes, from design to video generation and post-production. SAIL says its model can drastically cut down on the production time and cost of animation production.

In a WeChat post, the deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party and head of the China Media Group, Shen Haixiong, elaborated on the broadcaster’s intentions to fully embrace artificial intelligence technology, writing:

We will delve deeper into technological innovation, embrace the internet and AI … [and] build a ‘powerful engine’ and ‘driving force’ for a new type of international mainstream media.