China’s press state agency, Xinhua, has unveiled AI anchors which is designed to deliver headlines 24 hours a day. The AI anchors will report “tirelessly” all day every day, from anywhere in the country. The move is believed to be the world’s first.
The AI Anchor named Qiu Hao, who was wearing a red tie and pin-striped suit, debuted Thursday at the World Internet Conference in the country’s eastern Zhejiang Province.
“The development of the media industry calls for continuous innovation and deep integration with the international advanced technologies,” the AI anchor said in his first broadcast.
“I will work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted. I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences,” he added.
The agency claims the virtual presenter, “can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor”.
The AI anchor has been modeled on Zhang Zhao, a human Xinhua presenter, and will read out scripts fed to it by writers.
China is home to some of the world’s largest tech companies and some 800 million internet users. Its internet is one of the most controlled in the world. Some people worry that China is turning into a digital police state, with technology from iris and gait recognition being deployed to monitor activists, ethnic minorities in places like Xinjiang, and regular citizens.