A news organization in Kuwait is using a virtual news announcer created with artificial intelligence (AI). The organization plans for it to present online news reports.
"Fedha" appeared on the Twitter account of the Kuwait News website Saturday. The AI’s image was designed as female.
"I'm Fedha, the first presenter in Kuwait who works with artificial intelligence at Kuwait News. What kind of news do you prefer? Let's hear your opinions," the AI said in traditional Arabic.
The site is linked to the Kuwait Times, an English-language daily newspaper established in 1961.
Abdullah Boftain is deputy editor-in-chief for both news sites. He said the move is a test of AI's possibility to offer "new and innovative content."
In the future Fedha could speak using the Kuwaiti accent, he said. Boftain added that it could soon present news reports on the site's Twitter account, which has 1.2 million followers.
"Fedha is a popular, old Kuwaiti name that refers to silver, the metal. We always imagine robots to be silver and metallic in color, so we combined the two," he said.
The AI presenter has light hair and light-colored eyes, representing the country's diverse population of Kuwaitis and foreigners, Boftain said.
"Fedha represents everyone," he said.
The AI's first 13-second video led many people to post about it on social media, including reporters.
The quick rise of AI around the world has raised hopes that the technology can create many benefits. But there are also fears AI could help spread disinformation, threaten some kinds of jobs and hurt artistic integrity.
Kuwait ranked 158 out of 180 countries and territories in the Reporters Without Borders 2022 Press Freedom Index.
I’m Caty Weaver.
Dan Novak adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting by Agence France-Presse.
Words in This Story
virtual— adj. very close to being something without actually being it; something that is not real, but is only on computers or the Internet
artificial intelligence — adj. an area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to seem like they have human intelligence
prefer — v. to like better than someone or something else
innovative — adj. introducing or using new ideas or methods
diverse — adj. different from each other
benefit — n. a good or helpful result or effect
integrity — n. the quality of being honest and fair