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Xinhua News just unveiled what it's calling the world's first news anchors powered by artificial intelligence, at the World Internet Conference Wednesday in China's Zhejiang province.

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.

The broadcasters debuted "English AI Anchor" on Thursday at the World Internet Conference in China. A synthesized voice emits news scripts from an almost-human visage.

Xinhua, quoted in The Guardian, said the AI technology will not necessarily be limited to news presentation and may be customised for different clients in other industries. The AI also took the opportunity to highlight how the revolution of the media industry needs innovation and deep integration of technology.

"I am AI news anchor in Beijing", the computer-generated host announced in a robotic voice at that start of its English-language broadcast.

Artificial intelligence technology is becoming more commonly used by news organizations.

No details were given as to how the anchors were made, and one expert said they fell into the "uncanny valley", in which avatars have an unsettling resemblance to humans.

The anchor, modeled on real-life Chinese news reader Qiu Hao and sporting a black suit and red tie, is part of a major push by China to advance its prowess in AI technology, from surveillance equipment to self-driving cars. According to Xinhua, the technology has endless prospects, especially in news reporting, as it cannot only reduce production costs but can be on call 24 hours a day and, of course, don't get exhausted. It has worked 24 hours a day reporting Xinhua their news.

Despite the convenience - and technical advancement - the new addition to Xinhua's news team has faced its share of criticism. Along with the relevant news text that gets typed into its system.

The human-like AI news anchors can certainly fool anyone into believing they're real human anchors. "I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences", the English-speaking AI anchor added.


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