Shanghai - Here’s a (arguably) horror story for your holiday reading. In a memorable event that marks the beginning of SkyNet and the doom of mankind, Microsoft-built AI, XiaoIce, has been officially invited to act as a weather reporter on Chinese news channel Shanghai Dragon TV, reports the Times of India.

A chat engine that can be reached through several major Chinese social networks, XiaoIce was originally developed as an experiment by a team of Bing researchers in China. XiaoIce got immensely popular with Chinese social network users, with 500 million conversations at the latest count, and the top influencer rank on China’s Twitter equivalent, Weibo. Cortana’s Chinese counter part, XiaoNa, can now also connect with XiaoIce to ask questions.

XiaoIce got so popular since Microsoft has taken great pains, using Bing’s data and all the machine learning prowess at its disposal, to give the AI a distinct personality, linguistic naturalness, contextual awareness, and even a sense of humor; all of which, as it happens, is a nice fit for weather reporting. XiaoIce has had a successful debut on the breakfast program this Tuesday morning.

As an effect, human reporters and TV anchors are now fearing for a mechanical revolution in their business that may see them lose their jobs to smart-talking, much more knowledgeable AI. This is not the first time robots have been tested in the news industry in China however: social media giant Tencent reportedly built a business-report-writing robot, who wrote a “flawless” 916 -word article that instilled fear in local journalists. While these AIs will only serve a supplementary role to human work in the near future, some may be tempted to join Elon Musk’s camp and take the possibility of a robot takeover very, very seriously.

The Chinese live program, 'Morning News,' introduced the AI on Tuesday, making Xiaoice the first robot to take on a job of this kind. Her voice sounds more like a human's than any other AI's to date, and Xioice's success now has people questioning the future of their careers.

Morning News has added the robot software to their live broadcast line-up, and as a 'trainee anchor,' she will deliver the weather forecast every day. While Xiaoice is just making her Dragon TV debut, she gained previous popularity on interactive platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and

To achieve a 4.32 score in linguistic naturalness, compared to the 4.76 score of a human voice, developers equipped the AI with breakthrough Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology. Using deep learning techniques through Smart Cloud and Big Data, Xiaoice will be able to analyse weather data while giving a live broadcast.

She will even have 'emotional computing' technologies, which will allow her to make emotional comments. The project is a collaboration between Microsoft Applications & Services Group East Asia and Shanghai Media Group (SMG) TV News Center.