TV channels are using AI-generated presenters to read the news. The question is, will we trust them?

By Chris Stokel-WalkerFeatures correspondent

Getty Images Journalists watch a video of Kuwait News service AI-anchor Fedha (Credit: Getty Images)Getty Images

A start-up is developing a news service presented by anchors created by artificial intelligence. Will it upend decades of parasocial relationships between television audiences and the people they watch on screen?

The footage wouldn’t look out of place on many of the world’s news channels.

For 22 minutes, a variety of polished news anchors stand in front of the camera and run down the day’s news in a video posted on social media. But none of them are real. Instead, the anchors are generated by artificial intelligence (AI).

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The video is produced by Los Angeles-based Channel 1, a start-up created by entrepreneurs Adam Mosam and Scott Zabielski, who plan to roll out AI-generated news on a streaming TV channel later this year. “There seemed to be a very interesting opportunity to level up the user experience of news,” says Mosam, by using AI to tailor content to individuals.

AI technology can also help translate scripts and interviews from one language to another – capabilities that Channel 1 demonstrated in a promotional video, which was shared in December.

Channel 1 is the latest demonstration of AI-powered news presenters around the world. In Kuwait, an AI persona by the name of Fedha ran through the headlines for Kuwait News. Hermes presented the news in May 2023 for Greek state broadcaster ERT. South Korean broadcaster SBS handed over the duties of news presenting to Zae-In, an AI-generated deepfake, for five months this year. There are others in India and Taiwan, too –

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