Xinhua said the "AI Synthetic Anchors", one for Chinese and one for English news, were developed along with Sogou Inc, a Beijing-based creator of search engines and voice-recognition technology.
China last year unveiled plans to become a world leader in AI and other high-tech fields, though it has since toned down the rhetoric amid a trade war with the United States, which has included accusations by President Donald Trump that China steals US technologies.
Xinhua's first English #AI anchor makes debut at the World Internet Conference that opens in Wuzhen, China Wednesday pic.twitter.com/HOkWnnfHdW
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) November 7, 2018
The digital anchors offer certain advantages over humans, Xinhua said, such as being able to work 24 hours a day and to quickly disseminate breaking news.
"The AI Synthetic Anchor has officially become part of the Xinhua reporting team. He will work together with other anchors to bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news and information in Chinese and English," Xinhua said.
The anchors have appeared on some Xinhua online and social media products, but it was not immediately clear how extensively they would be used by the agency.
Rather than true AI, however, the Xinhua presenters merely react to text that is fed into their systems, the agency said.
True AI involves machines that can think, make decisions and take action on their own.
The avatars debuted this week during the World Internet Conference, an annual convention in the eastern Chinese city of Wuzhen organised by China's government.
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