Microsoft is replacing human journalists with Artificial Intelligence (AI) amid the pandemic situation. According to reports, the company has notified roughly 50 human journalists from MSN.com and Microsoft News divisions that their service would no longer be required after June 30. Instead, Microsoft will make use of an AI-based algorithm to carry its editorial operations.
Microsoft replacing journalists with AI robots
AI (read robots) replacing humans at workplaces has always been scary thought, isn’t it? But sadly, it wasn’t expected from Microsoft, especially during a pandemic. The news broke at a time when the on-going COVID-19 situation has already affected the job market around the world, and humans losing their jobs to AI is the last thing the world needs right now.
Microsoft News division has in-house journalists at work whose job is to curate stories on MSN.com and other properties. But now, one thing is for sure. Microsoft aims to rely more on Artificial Intelligence to curate and display stories on MSN, inside Microsoft Edge, and various other properties including Microsoft News apps.
Microsoft employees working in the company’s SANE (search, ads, News, and Edge) division are hired to help perform editorial operations and choose stories. Meanwhile, in a statement, Microsoft said:
“Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, re-deployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic.”
These layoffs may not be related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as Microsoft claims, however, advertising revenues continue to plummet across TV broadcast, newspapers, and digital media businesses worldwide.
While 50 human jobs are reportedly affected in the US, Microsoft may be prepared to terminate around 27 journalists in the UK.
Microsoft initially came up with the idea of MSN back in 1995. Meanwhile, Microsoft News came into existence nearly two years ago. Back then, Microsoft News division revealed they had “more than 800 editors working from 50 locations around the world.”