Microsoft to replace journalists with robots

Daniel Fowler
June 1, 2020

Full-time news producers will be retained by the company.

But e dey employ journalists to decide which stories to display and how dem go present am. They have been notified "that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30". Microsoft works with thousands of publisher and news organization to power its news platform, which has almost 500 million monthly users in 140 countries across web, mobile, and email. "I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs, and here I am - AI has taken my job", he stated.

Manual curation of news stories also ensured that headlines were consistent and fitting for the medium while promoting circulation of political views and avoiding untrustworthy reports while highlighting interesting articles from smaller outlets.

Microsoft is saying goodbye to several journalists and editorial workers at its Microsoft News and MSN organizations. Microsoft has however been working to remove the human element, which costs around $40 per hour each.

However, this round of lay-offs from Microsoft seems particularly tone-deaf given the now stagnant job market and record levels of unemployment amid the coronavirus crisis. Microsoft has been using AI to search for content and then process and filter it and even suggest photos for human publishers to match. The workers were responsible for choosing, editing and curating stories.

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They perform functions such as selection of stories, headlines, pictures and other contents from news organisations for the MSN site.

A company spokesperson said that the layoffs are a part of its regular business evaluation.

"This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others", the firm informed the BBC, emphasizing that the step is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.

The layoffs include 27 people at PA Media, a news organisation contracted by Microsoft to maintain news on its website, The Guardian report says.

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