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

The press agency even launched the first video of the anchor speaking the news.

Xinhua News claims the presenter can "read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor". The Chinese AI anchor looks exactly like Xinhua presenter Qiu Hao, while the English-speaking presenter is modelled after Xinhua's Zhang Zhao.

Xinhua developed two AI news anchors, one that speaks Chinese and the other is an English speaker, in collaboration with China's search engine company Sogou.

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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. One such benefit is around the clock new reporting; because the AI Anchor is real or human, Xinhua says that the anchor can work "24 hours a day on its official website and various social media platforms, reducing production costs and improving efficiency".

Not only is this highly debatable (see noticeable robotic reading in the video above), but it begs the question: would the public accept an artificial figure reading their nightly news?

He said it was a "good first effort".

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That isn't to say the technology isn't without its own caveats towards realism. That's because you're not looking at a real person.

The highest paid news anchor, CNN's Anderson Cooper, is reportedly paid US$100 million a year, while Diane Sawyer at ABC and Sean Hannity at Fox News earn US$80 million each. Pay close attention to the AI Anchor, you'll notice that its face has a limited range for facial expressions.

Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, said it was a good effort, but it could be very tiresome even if it improves over time.

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Walsh said China is quickly starting to lead the way in AI development, with the nation investing in the field "in a big way" as they seek economic and military dominance.

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