China debuts the world's first AI news presenter

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Celebrity anchors in China are generally paid a lot less because they work for state-run TV stations but they often earn extra money from product endorsements and book sales.

Sogou's "AI Synthetic Anchor", showcased the firm's advanced voice and video synthesis technology at the 5th World Internet Conference kicked off in Wuzhen, Zhejiang, China.

China's state press agency has developed what it calls "AI news anchors", avatars of real-life news presenters that read out news as it is typed.

"The development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the global advanced technologies". Why don't you take a look at the video shared by Xinhua featuring the newest AI news anchor and be the judge.

The machine learning (ML) programme can generate lip movements, facial expressions, among other things similar to that of a human news anchor. The AI anchor is said to "reduce news production costs and improve news efficiency".

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With respect to the concern about the growing Artificial Intelligence industry, including both the unintended discrimination and loss of jobs.

According to The Verge, the specific technology Xinhua used to create its AI Anchor is still unclear.

While Xinhua claims the virtual anchor is a world first, it is not the first time that Chinese media has experimented with AI technology. It's not hard to see how this type of technology could be used to create entirely realistic AI news anchors at some point in the near future. Several months ago, Japanese news channel Kodormoroid debuted Erica, who is also powered by artificial intelligence.

The virtual anchor has human like facial expressions, and reads the news in a synthesized voice that makes it more plausible than anything before.

The creation of the AI news anchor is part of China's efforts to emerge as a high-tech powerhouse by notably becoming the world's leader in AI by 2030.

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Xinhua AI anchor, launched on Wednesday, starts presenting news reports from Thursday.

Still, the technology appears to have its limitations, as is evident by the video above.

"We quite value the relationship we have with the news readers that we get to know over many years", he said.

Xinhua said the English-speaking robot news anchor is an official member of its news team.

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