Fed holds rates steady, on course for Dec hike
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and stayed on course to hike in December despite recent jitters in financial markets and a critical president.
The US central bank said “economic activity has been rising at a strong rate” and job gains “have been strong,” acknowledging a drop in the unemployment rate, while repeating its outlook for “further gradual” rate increases in its statement Thursday following a two-day meeting in Washington.
Risks to the outlook appear “roughly balanced,” the Federal Open Market Committee said, leaving that language unchanged from the prior meeting in late September. Inflation expectations, which have slipped slightly in recent weeks according to some measures, were described as “little changed, on balance,” the same as in the last statement.
“Absent anything new between now and the last meeting of the year, they’ll continue on with another 25 basis point increase” in December, said James Kahn, an economics professor at Yeshiva University and a former vice president at the New York Fed. “The language is designed to try to not look
If you were to watch news on the Chinese governmentrun Xinhua News Agency, you would, in all likelihood, encounter the world’s first artificial intelligence (Ai)-powered news anchor.
Developed jointly by the news agency and Chinese search engine company Sogou.com, “he” is officially a member of Xinhua’s reporting team.
His voice has been modelled on that of a real anchor working for the agency, which also explains the facial expressions and actions that imitate a real person.
As with any machine learning technique, the AI anchor learns continuously from live broadcasting videos and can read texts as naturally as a pro- fessional news anchor.
He made his debut at the ongoing fifth World Internet Conference in east China’s Zhejiang Province, according to an 8 November post on xinhuanet.com (bit.ly/2zdeuhg).
The AI anchor can work through the day on its official website and various social media platforms, reducing news production costs and improving efficiency, according to the same report.
Ai-powered virtual assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana, are as intelligent as Xinhua’s AI anchor, if not more, but they do not have a human face.
Even IBM’S AI system, Project Debater (bit.ly/2yq8bjy), which engaged in the first-ever live, public debate with humans on 18 June at an event at the IBM Watson West site in San Francisco—delivering a four-minute opening statement, a fourminute rebuttal, and a two-