I read with interest a number of reports that the China state news agency Xinhua has unveiled what it called the world’s first artificial intelligence news anchor, a computer simulation with a synthesised voice. I remember helping the Press Association news agency in the United Kingdom create the world’s first virtual newscaster almost two decades ago. Launched in 2000, and briefly achieving worldwide recognition, Ananova was clearly well ahead of her time. The graphics may have advanced since then and voice interaction has become commonplace, but it looks like there is room for improvement. Still, the original concept could become a virtual reality someday soon.