A Kuwaiti media outlet has unveiled a virtual news presenter generated using artificial intelligence, with plans for it to read online bulletins.
“Fedha” appeared on the Twitter account of the Kuwait News website as an image of a woman, her light-coloured hair uncovered, wearing a black jacket and white T-shirt.
” I’m Fedha. This is Fedha. She was the first person to present in Kuwait using artificial intelligence. What kind of news do you prefer? “Let’s listen to your views,” she said in classic Arabic.
‘wl mdhy`@ fy #lkwyt t`ml bldhk lSTn`y
* #fD@.. mdhy`@ #kwyt_nywz lftrDy@
* m hy nw`y@ l’khbr lty tfDlwnh btqdym #fD@ zmyltn ljdyd@? .. shrkwn arkm pic.twitter.com/VlVjasSdpb
— kwyt nywz (@KuwaitNews) April 8, 2023
Kuwait Times – which merged with Kuwait News in 2022 – was founded in 1961 as the Gulf region’s first English-language daily. Abdullah Boftain, deputy editor-in-chief of the publication and the website, said the move is a test of AI’s potential to offer “new and innovative content”.
He added that in the future, Fedha could adopt the Kuwaiti accent and present news bulletins on the site’s Twitter account.
“Fedha, a name from Kuwaiti that means silver or the metal, is very popular. Boftain stated that robots are always imagined to be both silvery and metallic-coloured, so they combined them. According to Boftain, the presenter has blonde hair and bright-coloured eyes that reflect Kuwait’s oil-rich population.
The rapid rise of AI globally has raised the promise of benefits, such as in healthcare and the elimination of mundane tasks, but also fears, for example over its potential spread of disinformation and its threats to certain jobs and to artistic integrity.
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