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Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

The news never sleeps, and nei­ther do the two new an­chors at China’s state-run news agency.

Xin­hua News just un­veiled what it’s call­ing the world’s first news an­chors pow­ered by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, at the World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day. From the out­side, they’re al­most in­dis­tin­guish­able from their hu­man coun­ter­parts. While Xin­hua says the an­chors have the “voice, fa­cial ex­pres­sions and ac­tions of a real per­son,” the ro­botic an­chors re­lay what­ever text is fed to them in stilted speech.

“I will work tire­lessly to keep you in­formed as texts will be typed into my sys­tem un­in­ter­rupted,” the English­s­peak­ing ver­sion says in its de­but video.

De­vel­oped jointly by Xin­hua and Chi­nese search en­gine So­gou.com, the an­chors learn from live broad­cast­ing videos and so­cial me­dia, and can work “24 hours a day.”

The ro­bots are sup­posed to help cut costs and im­prove ef­fi­ciency but their pres­ence in the me­dia land­scape raises many ques­tions about qual­ity of in­for­ma­tion Chi­nese cit­i­zens are given by their gov­ern­ment.

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