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Monday, 17 January, 2000, 12:22 GMT
Cyberbabe to read the news

Ananova: The latest news with a hint of Posh Spice


A cyberbabe modelled on a mixture of Posh Spice, Kylie Minogue and TV presenter Carol Vorderman is set to become the world's first virtual newscaster.

The computer-generated character called Ananova will be able to deliver the latest news over the internet, when she is launched later this year.

Ananova will appear via mobile phone networks
Ananova was created by PA New Media, which claims to have given her a full range of human characteristics based on the personality most people wanted to read the news.

As a result, she has the profile of a single 28-year-old "girl about town" who loves Oasis and The Simpsons and is 5ft 8in (1.73m) tall.

Ananova is fully-animated using the latest in 3D computer graphics and is programmed to deliver the news in a "pleasant, quietly intelligent manner".

But behind the pretty face there is a super-fast computer system that can create a news bulletin faster than any human equivalent, any minute of the day.

PA New Media says she will "transform the delivery of news" when she is launched on the internet later this year.

"This is the most exciting product we have developed and one that has far-reaching implications for our whole business," said Mark Hird, the hi-tech company's director.

"We are taking instant news and information, converting the data or text into speech and at the same time creating the real-time animated graphics needed for Ananova to read out the bulletin on the fly."

Ananova will appear in a TV-style window on PC screens when her website is launched in the run up to Easter and she will later be available via mobile networks and other digital services.

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