China's state-run press agency has welcomed two additions to its team of journalists - two news presenters powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
The world's first Artificial Intelligence TV news anchor resembles a male human anchor and has the voice and facial expressions of a real person.
Xinhua built the AI with China's Sogou search engine and stated in a report that it will allow the news agency to have 24-hour news coverage while cutting down on production costs. Since it's an AI anchor, news is read out in a very monotonous manner with no expressions in between.
The AI anchors are the latest in an ongoing trend towards global digitization across several industries, outside of news, given that we already have the holographic pop star Hatsune Miku, not to mention the equally freakish CGI Instagram models Bermuda and Lil Miquela.
The AI anchors are now available throughout Xinhua's internet and mobile platforms such as its official Chinese and English apps, WeChat public account, and online TV webpage.
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She described the lingerie as "very cool, very simple, modern and so sparkly". "Worked so hard for this!" "And it was definitely a moment that I'll never forget".
But Xinhua appears to know that the anchor is a work in progress, as the AI's sign-off message on its first report emphasized.
"This is scary stuff, and arguably I am staring directly at my future replacement", veteran 10 News First newsreader Sandra Sully said of the technology.
Anyone who's played Deus Ex: Human Revolution will recall the Picus news agency that used an AI news anchor to propagate propaganda of the comms agency behind the news firm. I prefer real human presenters, ' another said.
The results looks to be a tad mixed, with AI news presenters looking a little stilted and unnatural, though if we were to stumble in late at night after a skinful and turn on Chinese news, we'd probably be duped by the presenter, at least until we sobered up with some fried chicken and a can of coke.
China has become one of the leading global hubs for AI development in recent years.