China's News Agency Xinhua Unveils World's First AI Anchor

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionChina's'first AI news anchor

"Xinhua said the achievement was a "breakthrough in the field of global AI synthesis", pioneering the synthesis of real-time audio and video with AI-created anchors in the news field". One speaks chinese and the other English.

Artificial intelligence technology is becoming more commonly used by news organizations.

Chinese tech giant Sogou was involved in the system's development. While Xinhua says the anchors have the "voice, facial expressions and actions of a real person", the robotic anchors relay whatever text is fed to them in stilted speech that sounds less human than Siri or Alexa.

Stepping up its game in the world of robots, which are rapidly making their way into every sector, China has made the first ever "Artificial Intelligence (AI) news anchor".

China's state-run Xinhua news agency has released footage of its newest stars: virtual news presenters which use artificial intelligence to copy human voices and facial expressions.

In a post, Xinhua said the generated anchors could work "24 hours a day" on its website and various social-media platforms, "reducing news production costs and improving efficiency".

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The avatars debuted this week during the World Internet Conference, an annual convention in the eastern Chinese city of Wuzhen organised by China's government.

Xinhua developed the virtual anchors with Sogou, China's second-biggest search engine.

In a not-so human touch, "he" also promised "to work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted".

Xinhua revealed two virtual anchors at the World Internet Conference on Thursday.

"Hello, you are watching English news programme", begins the English-speaking news presenter. The AI TV anchor is also believed to be more efficient as it is claimed to have the ability to quickly generate breaking news, "something humans can't do".

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