This news anchor is actually an AI-powered robot

Artificial Intelligence AI AI news anchor AI news anchor China AI English news anchor first AI TV anchor Xinhua robot news anchor Xinhua AI news anchor

Xinhua news anchor Qiu Hao stands next to a virtual news anchor based on him, at the Sogou booth during the fifth World Internet Conference (WIC) in Jiaxing, China.

Though Xinhua presents the avatars as independently learning from "live broadcasting videos", the avatars do not appear to rely on true artificial intelligence, as they simply read text written by humans. "I'm AI news anchor in Beijing".

Don't adjust your TV set, that's just a new computer-generated news anchor working out the bugs.

A screenshot of Xinhua's first English AI anchor.

The Chinese agency also introduced the Anglosphere to an an English-speaking AI, based on another presenter, who said: "The development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the global advanced technologies ..."

Below, you can watch some footage of the English-language AI anchor in action.

In a YouTube video, the artificial person explains that its voice and appearance is modeled on Zhang Zhao, a real news reporter with Xinhua.

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Xinhua said that together with other anchors, "He" will bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in Chinese and English. The AI news anchor also assures that he will "work tirelessly" and read out news without any interruptions.

China's state news agency this week unveiled the world's first virtual newsman.

The digital anchors offer certain advantages over humans, Xinhua said, such as being able to work 24 hours a day and to quickly disseminate breaking news.

The virtual presenters are created using 3D digital models of real humans an then apply AI tech to synthesise the voices of presenters and replicate their expressions and lip movements, without the need for more time-consuming traditional CGI processes.

"The AI Synthetic Anchor has officially become part of the Xinhua reporting team".

"We will see it improve over time", Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC.

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