Generative AI could be coming to your local TV station as The Weather Company, aka the people that run The Weather Channel, is bringing AI tools to make weather videos. 

The Weather Company announced ReelSphere on Thursday, a video creation tool for broadcasters and other customers that automatically adds captions, graphics, and hyperlocal weather information overlays to video weather reports. ReelSphere even lets users add an AI voice that can sound like a local meteorologist. Think of the quick weather forecast updates you usually see while watching local news. ReelSphere can make all those graphics showing the temperature or radar information for a specific area, especially now as people demand they get up-to-date weather more often and on more platforms. 

It uses a large language model (The Weather Company declined to say which) to pull location-specific graphics and can be connected to the company’s weather information system, Max. Max is the platform that helps create the maps meteorologists point to in front of a green screen. Crucially, if the AI messes up, users can still go into ReelSphere to edit information. 

The Weather Company’s head of enterprise media and new verticals, Joe Fiveash, tells The Verge in an interview that any script or information ReelSphere uses will still be written by humans. Their goal is to make it easier and faster for local weatherpeople to present real-time weather information on different platforms.

“Generally, meteorologists create these videos all the time and have to change the information for every location and hour,” Fiveash says. “There are so many more platforms for them to share the weather, and we hope ReelSphere can help them keep up with the demand.”

Fiveash says the AI in ReelSphere pulls weather information from The Weather Company’s API and other data sources its customers are using. We’re still waiting to hear back on when this tool will be available, but regardless, any tool that can help bring hyperlocal news back could be a good thing.

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