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Kuwait news outlet unveils AI-generated presenter Fedha

A Kuwaiti media outlet says it has created a virtual news presenter using artificial intelligence (AI).

"Fedha" made her debut on the Twitter account of Kuwait News, an affiliate of the Kuwait Times.

She appears as an image of a woman with light-coloured hair, wearing a black jacket and white T-shirt.

Abdullah Boftain, deputy editor-in-chief for Kuwait News, told AFP news agency the move tested AI's potential to offer "new and innovative content".

"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-generated presenter said in Arabic.

Mr Boftain said Fedha may develop to have a Kuwaiti accent and read online news bulletins.

"Fedha is a popular, old Kuwaiti name that refers to silver, the metal. We always imagine robots to be silver and metallic in colour, so we combined the two," he said.

The presenter's blonde hair and light-coloured eyes reflect the country's diverse population of Kuwaitis and expatriates, Mr Boftain said.

Kuwait is not the first country to unveil an AI-generated news presenter: in 2018, China's state news agency unveiled its own virtual newsreader sporting a sharp suit and a somewhat robotic voice.

A report last month by investment bank Goldman Sachs said AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs.

The report suggested the technology could take over a quarter of work tasks in the US and Europe, but that it may also mean new jobs and a productivity boom.


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