Microsoft 'to replace journalists with robots'
Published on: 2020-05-30 16:44:53 | Category: Business | By: admin
Microsoft will replace hundreds of contract journalists on its MSN website, which will use automated systems to pick news stories, media coverage from the US and UK.
Microsoft is replacing dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and using automated systems to select news stories, media reports from the US and UK.
These news production tasks will be performed by artificial intelligence, sources told the Seattle Times;
Microsoft said that this was part of its market assessment.
The U.S. tech giant said in a statement: "Like all businesses, we periodically assess our business, which can lead to increased investment in some areas and, from time to time, redeployment in others, which is not the result of the current pandemic."
Unlike several other media firms, Microsoft charges news outlets to include their stories on its website.
Yet it does hire journalists to determine what news to view and how to present them.
Around 50 contract news producers will lose their jobs in late June, reports the Seattle Times, but a full-time team of journalists will remain.
* Google funds automated news project
"Thinking robots will replace us is demoralizing, but you're going there," said one of those facing redundancy to the report.
Some sacked journalists cautioned that artificial intelligence may not be completely familiar with strict editorial guidelines, and may result in unacceptable stories being passed along.
Twenty-seven of those who lose their jobs are employed by the UK's PA Media, reports The Guardian.
One journalist quoted in the paper said: "I've been reading all my time about how automation and AI could steal all our work-now it 's mine that's taken."
Microsoft is one of a number of tech companies that experiment with so-called robot journalism forms to reduce costs. Also, Google is investing in projects to understand how this will work.