Xiaoice is Microsoft's latest piece of artificial intelligence.
She has a 'cute' voice, can instantly comment on weather data and big news events, and now, she has a job on morning TV.
The Chinese live program, 'Morning News,' introduced the AI on Tuesday, making Xiaoice the first robot to take on a job of this kind.
Her voice sounds more like a human's than any other AI's to date, and Xioice's success now has people questioning the future of their careers.
Morning News has added the robot software to their live broadcast line-up, and as a 'trainee anchor,' she will deliver the weather forecast every day.
While Xiaoice is just making her Dragon TV debut, she gained previous popularity on interactive platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and JD.com.
To achieve a 4.32 score in linguistic naturalness, compared to the 4.76 score of a human voice, developers equipped the AI with breakthrough Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology.
Using deep learning techniques through Smart Cloud and Big Data, Xiaoice will be able to analyse weather data while giving a live broadcast.
She will even have 'emotional computing' technologies, which will allow her to make emotional comments.
The project is a collaboration between Microsoft Applications & Services Group East Asia and Shanghai Media Group (SMG) TV News Center.
'Over the recent years, SMG has been constantly committed to sustainable growth of integration and transformation, with great sincerity and openness to embrace the Internet. It's a brand new attempt for us to join hands with Microsoft in artificial intelligence,' says Jiongming Song, Director of SMG TV News Center.
'Although human anchors can't be completely replaced by Xiaoice in the near term, Xiaoice and human anchors will supplement each other as Xiaoice's capabilities in deep learning, Internet big data analysis, instant large-scale online and offline concurrent interactions are unexceptional.
'Our hope is that similar artificial intelligence technology will be applied to more SMG programmes and get well accepted by the public.'
In July, Xiaoice was launched in Japan, and reached 1 percent of the total population in just one week.
Now, researchers are saying this software will soon be making its way to the United States and other regions.
After her TV debut on December 22, people have begun to worry that their job may soon be lost to robots.
The days of weather presenters (stock image) could be numbered. Researchers from London and Edinburgh have developed a computer that can collate meterological information and then produce forecasts as if they were written by a human. It uses a process known as 'natural language generation' (NLG)
According to The Economic Times, another robot-journalist was released earlier this year and it was able to produce a 'flawless' 961 word article in just one minute.
The article by Dream writer, designed by gaming giant Tencent, covered basic financial news and was just a readable as something written by a human would be.
As Chinese media is controlled by the state, reporters have expressed worry that their jobs may be more vulnerable than reporters' in other countries.
Despite the concerns of automation, Xiaoice's creators say the AI will work alongside humans, and will be welcomed.
WHAT IS NATURAL LANGUAGE GENERATION (NLG)?
NLG is the process of producing readable texts in English, or other languages, automatically on a computer.
Typically, the program starts with statistics and figures, or any information that isn't written in language.
These includes tables of numerical data or a collection of entries in a database.
Alternatively, NLG will rephrase a block of texts to make it easier to read and understand.
It is often referred to as a translator that converts computer speak into natural language, which is tricky for computers due to variances in tone and grammar.
'Xiaoice is a critical artificial intelligence product for Microsoft and she has been first launched in China and Japan,' says Dr Yongdong Wang, the creator of Xiaoice and Managing Director of Microsoft Applications & Services Group East Asia.
'We feel thrilled to work with SMG to introduce Xiaoice into the live TV programme and to jointly open a new chapter in the history of the scientific technology and television.'
Dr. Yongdong Wang says that the partnered companies are 'well equipped with the world's leading technology research and development capabilities, product framework and artificial intelligence brands.'
'Under the current circumstances, we will pay more attention to practicality by developing artificial intelligence products available to everyone rather than just put forward mere sci-tech concepts.
As Xiaoice is gradually penetrating into human life, engaging herself in more jobs and playing more social roles, Microsoft expects her to bring more bliss to human beings.'
Researchers from London and Edinburgh are also developing a computer that can collate meteorological information and then produce forecasts as if they were written by a human.
Using a process known as 'natural language generation' (NLG), it has the potential to one day be used in humanoid robots on our TV screens.
These computer-generated weather updates are being being tested by scientists at Heriot-Watt University and University College London.
Using Met Office data, the researchers are developing new algorithms for automatically generating detailed reports.
If the project is successful, a prototype system will be tested by generating local weather reports on the BBC's website.