And finally, a fake newsreader for China's real news

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

"He learns from live broadcasting videos by himself and can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor", reports Chinese state media service Xinhua.

According to reports from South China Morning Post and Xinhua, the news anchors will reduce the cost of daily TV news report, thanks to its ability to work 24 hours a day.

A more immediately worrying aspect is that virtual news readers could be yet another step down the route of delivering fake news and propaganda.

The robo-presenters were created in collaboration with a search engine company called Sogou. Xinhua started using the AI anchor in its broadcast Thursday as well as in a separate Chinese-language version modeled on another presenter. I prefer real human presenters, ' another said. The virtual newsreader donning a sharp suit is basically a collection of digital composites created from videos of real human hosts. It appears that photo-like facial features have been applied to a body template and animated.

Michael Wooldridge, a Professor at the University of Oxford, said the result is mixed.

It was stuck somewhat in the "uncanny valley" - a term used to describe human-like robots and avatars which seem subtly unrealistic.

Qiu Hao, the Xinhua presenter who provided the prototype for the virtual announcer, said: "It will help us deliver news more effectively but it also poses more challenges to us news announcers".

He explained: "It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes".

'Hello everyone, I am an English Artificial Intelligence Anchor. It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis.

"If you're just looking at animation you've completely lost that connection to an anchor", he added.

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

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