China debuts creepy AI that reads the news like a real(ish) anchor

Watch this creepy AI anchor talk like a real person

If that wasn't enough, the looks and features of the AI anchors are that of real Xinhua news presenters. That may be the farfetched future, but AI seems to be putting jobs of TV news anchors at risk for now.

The world's first AI news anchor has been created by China's Xinhua new agency in collaboration with Chinese search engine company Sogou.

He also pointed out that human news presenters have traditionally - in many cases - become highly trusted public figures.

Xinhua claims that its AI anchors "can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor", however their clearly artificial and heavily synthesized voices can sometimes struggle with the nuances of pronunciation.

"I'll work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system", the AI presenter said.

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An artificial intelligence (AI) system has been used to synthesise the presenters' voices, lip movements and expressions.

Xinhua said that together with other anchors, "He" will bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in Chinese and English. The AI anchors take the form and shape of a human being and read out news stories.

Xinhua is boasting that their new artificial intelligence news anchor is a world's first and that "he" is now considered a regular member of the reporting team and, even better, never needs a break. The AI will have "endless outputs", Xinhua says, given that they can "work 24 hours a day on its official website and various social media platforms" - provided that a human editor can supply them with the copy, that is. This can reduce news production costs and improve efficiency during breaking news reports. "This is my very first day in Xinhua news agency", Xinhua's newest AI employee said in his introductory video at the conference.

"It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes", University of Oxford Professor Michael Wooldridge told the BBC.

"We will see it improve over time", he told the outlet.

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