Microsoft replaces journalists with artificial intelligence

Dozens of English-speaking news editors have been fired because AI allegedly can take over their jobs.

Microsoft is showing artificial intelligence capable of replacing workers in the newsroom.
Users of the homepages of the MSN website and Edge browser will now see news stories generated by AI.


MSN website and the Edge Browser's home page are updated with the latest news content - previously by humans, but in the future more and more by artificial intelligence. Microsoft has now laid off some of its staff in the US and UK, according to The Guardian

50 employees in the US and 27 in the UK are no longer needed because Microsoft is automating their work tasks, the employees were told.

"AI grabbed my job"

For the journalists the step came as a surprise. "I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is taking all our jobs away and now I'm standing there - and AI has taken my job," says one concerned person. 

She doubts that AI will really follow the content guidelines that Microsoft prescribes for its portals in every situation. One of these guidelines states, for example, that no violent content should appear when the Edge Browser is opened.

"Redistribution"

Microsoft comments the step soberly: "Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can lead to increased investment in some areas and redistribution in others from time to time". 

In any case, the layoffs would have nothing to do with the current Corona crisis. As Engadget notes, the decision is a real test of the real capabilities of AI programs in journalism - and Microsoft is saving the cost of some human resources.

AI journalists

The journalists do not write the articles themselves; they design headlines, look for suitable visual material and also select the articles.

  • By the end of June, only one team of journalists will be left, of those who currently perform this task.
  • The rest will be replaced by machines with artificial intelligence
  • Microsoft is one of many IT companies experimenting with robotic journalism to save costs.

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