China debuts the world's first AI news presenter

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China's Xinhua news agency on Thursday unveiled the world's first AI anchor that can read news in English and Chinese.

Xinhua said that together with other anchors, "He" will bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in Chinese and English. In their 30-second demonstration clips the AI anchors assured listeners: "I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted".

"We've already had President Trump say things are fake news when it's been caught on camera and we no longer can trust what we see with our eyes unless you were there in person you cannot trust that it actually happened anymore", Walsh said.

There is also a Chinese-speaking version with a different face. 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".

An artificial intelligence (AI) system has been used to synthesise the presenters' voices, lip movements and expressions.

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The human-like AI news anchors can certainly fool anyone into believing they're real human anchors. It appears that photo-like facial features have been applied to a body template and animated.

Michael Wooldridge, a Professor at the University of Oxford, said the result is mixed.

"It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes", University of Oxford Professor Michael Wooldridge told the BBC. It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis.

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

"If you're just looking at animation you've completely lost that connection to an anchor".

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