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Sexy Cyber-Anchor Debuts Online

She's sexy, fashionable and has a nose for news.

Ananova - a pixie-haired, green-eyed "synthespian" - is the world's first computer generated virtual newscaster capable of bringing Internet viewers round the clock live breaking news, reports co-anchor Jane Clayson on CBS News' The Early Show.

Ready to take the cyber news world by storm, the five-foot-eight, 28-year-old news anchor born of digital DNA is scheduled to debut Wednesday on the British Press Association Web site – barring any bugs.

"Until a year ago I was just the backroom newsroom computer, but my team wanted to provide the human face for their new service. So here I am," Ananova said on CBS News' The Early Show.

She's half-Posh Spice, half-Kylie Minogue, with even more eyeliner. Her own Web site says she's quietly intelligent, but with none of the cynicism of human news anchors - and with a lot more warmth.

Computer users will be able to call up Ananova on the Internet to give news bulletins and reports on sport, travel, weather and shares.

"I have a great editorial team. In the U.K., they're seen as the best in the business. I've got access to an unrivaled source of news and information, and as well as seeing up to the minute bulletins, you can search my archives at ananova.com." says Ananova, already taking her first stab at self promotion.

If all goes as planned, her Spock-like all-logic sassiness will be launched into televisions, mobile phones, and watches with screens.

"Ananova will never catch a cold or break a leg," boasts her Web site, "but she does live in fear of electronic bugs. And, as you might expect, she doesn't like water - it can wreak havoc with her hardware."

The beauty would be single and a "girl about town."

Although the digitally created anchor currently delivers news in a metallic, all-too-robotic voice, it hasn't stopped the online crowd from designing Ananova's first cyber fan site.

Clubanova.com - in search of carbon-based lifeform look-alikes - calls her "the perfect woman" and has already posed the question: "Where is Andy-anova?"

What sets Ananova apart from her distant cousins - 1980s television icon Max Headroom or Tomb Raider cyberbabe Lara Croft - is that she can act as the "perfect go-between for man and machine," acting as an on-demand personal assistant.

"I can alert you to news you need to know and tell you what's on at the theater and book your tickets," she says.

And the fan of the band Oasis and the television program The Simpsons, brags: "You'll be seeing a lot more of me in the future."

©2000 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Reuters Limited contributed to this report

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