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BANGKOK 15 November 2018 00:21
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And now for something completely different: Chinese robot news readers

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And now for something completely different: Chinese robot news readers

By Cate Cadell

 

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Xinhua news anchor Qiu Hao stands next to an AI virtual news anchor based on him, at a Sogou booth during an expo at the fifth World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen town of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China November 7, 2018. Picture taken November 7, 2018. E Xiaoying/Qianlong.com via REUTERS

 

WUZHEN, China (Reuters) - Chinese news readers may have some new competition - artificially intelligent robot anchors that can mimic human facial expressions and mannerisms while reading out reports.

 

The AI anchor, developed by state news agency Xinhua and tech firm Sogou Inc, was on display at the World Internet Conference in the eastern Chinese town of Wuzhen, drawing in curious passers-by.

 

The anchor, modelled on real-life Chinese news reader Qiu Hao and sporting a black suit and red tie, is part of a major push by China to advance its prowess in AI technology, from surveillance equipment to self-driving cars.

 

In another video presentation from Xinhua, a different robot presenter said it was his "very first day" at the news agency and promised to "work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted".

 

At the internet summit, Sogou marketing staff said it wasn't clear when the technology would actually go into use, but crowds gathered nonetheless to take selfies with the digital anchor and Qiu himself who was at the event.

 

The conference is China's top tech event of the year, and has in the past attracted names like Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet Inc head Sundar Pichai.

 

This year's iteration, however, which opened on Wednesday, was more muted and has a less glitzy global line-up, even as battle lines for control of the web have hardened amid a biting trade war between China and the United States.

 

Foreign websites such as Alphabet's Google and Facebook Inc are blocked in China, where authorities also tightly control online content and censor or punish those who post material seen as opposed to "core socialist values".

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-11-10

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I'd like to see them in Thailand, instead of these hysterical, dramatic newsreaders who act out the news they are reading with arm waving and vocal sound effects.

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35 minutes ago, edwinchester said:

So are they real physical robots or a computer generated image, not clear in the article?

anchor Qiu Hao stands next to an AI virtual news anchor based on him,

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Yeah, give it 10 or 20 years, AI's gonna take off. Thailand's gonna be f#@ked when sex robots start making an impact.

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BBC breakfast are world leaders in robotic anodyne witless reading presenters .. Watch the precision of them taking turns in reading the autocue of some banal news story .. Only robots can achieve that .. 

Edited by Justgrazing
Sp

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This is a great leap forward for a country that controls every bit of information its people hear. The Chinese Communist Party with its digital dictatorship, cctv spy vision, internment camps for muslims, can now program the news from Beijing and Adolf Xi can be president for life. I will always try to avoid anything made in fascist china, its anti human.

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Well, in China, it does not make much difference wether it is a robot or a real person presenting news.....

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