China's Xinhua agency unveils world's first AI news presenters

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionChina's'first AI news anchor

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionChina's'first AI news anchor

The AI clones' voices, lip movements and expressions are based on real Chinese presenters, and can deliver news as words are typed into their system.

At the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, the country's state-run news agency, Xinhua, unveiled the "world's first AI news anchor", which was created in collaboration with local search engine company Sogou. He can work for 24 hours continuously on the news website as well as its social media platform.

Don't adjust your TV set, that's just a new computer-generated news anchor working out the bugs. The programme has been made in English and Chinese.

The agency points out that they may be particularly useful for disseminating breaking news reports in a timely manner. I prefer real human presenters, ' another said. It appears that photo-like facial features have been applied to a body template and animated.

"It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes", University of Oxford Professor Michael Wooldridge told the BBC.

It was stuck somewhat in the "uncanny valley" - a term used to describe human-like robots and avatars which seem subtly unrealistic.

He explained: "It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes. It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis", Prof Wooldridge told the BBC.

The results looks to be a tad mixed, with AI news presenters looking a little stilted and unnatural, though if we were to stumble in late at night after a skinful and turn on Chinese news, we'd probably be duped by the presenter, at least until we sobered up with some fried chicken and a can of coke.

Noel Sharkey, a robotics professor at the University of Sheffield, was slightly more impressed.

"The problem is that it could be very tiresome".

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