Robots replacing journalists and editorial workers for news coverage in Microsoft’s major news outlets, MSN, Microsoft News, and Microsoft Edge.
The company has been introducing AI into their work in the past few months, encouraging their staff to utilize the technology. Recently, automation has even filled more permanent roles in the US and UK.
Microsoft is using AI technology to scan, sort through, and filter out content that would later be published on Microsoft’s news apps and channels. Where humans were once used to curate endless streams of news and content, AI can help bolster productivity and even suggest image attachment to articles.
Easing the content gathering process is one thing, but some Microsoft employees drew the short end of the stick. 50 editors in the US, according to Business Insider, and 27 in the UK according to The Guardian have lost their positions, with AI-driven robots replacing journalists and editors in the last 2 months.
A Microsoft spokesperson stated that their decision to increase investment in some places and replacing or re-deploying others was a calculated one. The layoffs, that continue, is a result of a review of strategy, and not a response to the pandemic as many other large companies are doing.
Microsoft has been into news casting since 1995 with the launch of MSN. Now with over 800 editors in 50 locations worldwide, the company’s news outlets are at a much larger scale than ever before. Robots replacing journalists are an example of the company scaling up their production to stay ahead.
Aside from the clear problem of human replacement, new business models incorporating AI are doing so out of necessity. Without utilizing modern technology to its fullest, news agencies will have to upgrade their gear it they are to stay in the news game.
Undoubtedly, modern society is in the midst of an intelligence revolution. Robots replacing journalists may just be setting a precedent for other industries in the near future.