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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

China debuts the world's first AI news presenter 

The anchor has a male voice, facial expressions and can work 24 hours a day

A screengrab from the video posted by Xinhua News Agency featuring an AI TV anchor.
A screengrab from the video posted by Xinhua News Agency featuring an AI TV anchor.

Only when he speaks is his true character revealed. "He" as he's known, is the world's first artificial news anchor.

"He" has the voice and facial expressions of a man and can imitate a real person.

China's state news agency, Xinhua, announced on Thursday, that the anchor is an official member of its reporting team, during the fifth World Internet Conference.

Xinhua teamed up with the Chinese search engine Sogou to extract features of human anchors from videos of their reporting, using their speech, lip movements and human expression. The programme has been made in English and Chinese.

“I’m an English artificial news anchor, this is my very first day in Xinhua News Agency, my voice and appearance are modeled on Zhang Zhao a real anchor with Xinhua,” he said.

"He" learns from live broadcasting videos of himself and can read naturally as a professional. While human anchors can work up to eight hours a day, their AI clones can report 24 hours a day.

“I’ll work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system,” the AI presenter said.

Xinhua said that together with other anchors, "He" will bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in Chinese and English.

The development promoted the UAE's Minister of Artificial Intelligence, Omar Al Olama, to say "The design of his face was based on a number of Xinhua presenters .. are we going to see this as the future of media?"

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