And now for something completely different: Chinese robot news readers
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, modeled 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.
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 CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet head Sundar Pichai.
Foreign websites such as Alphabet’s Google and Facebook 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”.