Is this Our Future? China Develops News Anchor powered by Artificial Intelligence

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'My voice and appearance are modelled on Zhang Zhao, a real anchor with Xinhua, ' he continued in a somewhat robotic voice.

"He" as he's known, is the world's first artificial news anchor.

The English-speaking "artificial intelligence" anchor for China's Xinhua News Agency made its debut at the fifth World Internet Conference in east China's Zhejiang Province - which began Wednesday and runs until Friday.

China's state-controlled news broadcasters have always been considered somewhat robotic in their daily recitation of pro-government propaganda, and new AI presenters will do little to dispel that view.

According to the, an English-language anchor and a Chinese-language anchor were created by Xinhua in partnership with local Beijing search engine company Sogou.

Xinhua claims that its AI anchors "can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor", however their clearly artificial and heavily synthesized voices can sometimes struggle with the nuances of pronunciation. Both the English and Mandarin news reading AI anchors are available across Xinhua's internet and mobile platforms, which includes its Mandarin and English apps as well as online TV webpage. "I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences", the AI anchor said, hinting at two things here. Its limited range of motion and expressions becomes repetitive after a short time, while its gray crisp suit and perfectly coiffed hair are even more rigid than human cable news hosts.

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Xinhua further says that the AI anchor has already become a member of the agency's reporting team.

The digital anchors offer certain advantages over humans, Xinhua said, such as being able to work 24 hours a day and to quickly disseminate breaking news.

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

"It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes".

Riddle me this: if the robots do wage war, will the artificially intelligent newsreaders tell us?