Chinese news agency Xinhua’s first English Artificial Intelligence news anchor makes debut

Chinese news agency Xinhua’s first English Artificial Intelligence news anchor makes debut

China's state-run press agency, Xinhua, has unveiled what it claims are the world's first news anchors generated by artificial intelligence. "I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences", the AI anchor said, hinting at two things here.

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But AI anchors may one day challenge the human variety due to their ability to work 24 hours a day provided human editors keep inputting text into the system. While identical in appearance, the two versions are created to appease both English and Mandarin-speaking watchers. The AI composite anchors, as they're being called, will be working alongside their human counterparts to allow live news reporting on a 24/7 basis, and can be found on most of Xinhua's web presences in both English and Chinese.

The agency said the readers "can read texts as naturally as a professional newsreader" - although that may be a matter of debate if their first bulletins are any indication.

Xinhua in collaboration with search engine operator Sogou unveiled the new technology at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China. The post read that the AI was created for reducing news production costs and also to improve efficiency.

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Xinhua declares the anchors have "endless prospects" and can be used to inexpensively produce news reports for the agency's web, TV, and mobile output.

The broadcasters made their debut during China's annual World Internet Conference, an event meant to be China's Davos for the tech sector as well as a platform for China's vision of the internet and potential for new technologies.

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The AI anchors have the resemblance of human and can also make news delivery like real news anchors. "Consumers are already so wary of fake news and a robotic version only enhances that level of mistrust".

Rather than true AI, however, the Xinhua presenters merely react to text that is fed into their systems, the agency said.

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