Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has always advocated for AI to be used alongside rather than in situ of employees, but it seems when the chance arose Microsoft was just too happy to require advantage of an all-AI solution.
BusinessInsider reports that Microsoft News has just laid off dozens of editors for MSN.com in favor of an AI-driven system of picking news.
MSN.com may be a top destination for news in the USA and claims to succeed in 500 million people in 140 countries. Around 50 staff are affected in the USA. they’re not direct employees of Microsoft but work via staffing agencies Aquent and MAQ Consulting. There are concerns that the standard of stories offered would suffer within the AI-driven news aggregation system, allowing fake and misleading news to be distributed for instance.
Microsoft News says it uses AI to scans content, understand “dimensions like freshness, category, topic type, opinion content, and potential popularity then presents it for our editors. Our algorithms suggest appropriate photos to pair with content to assist bring stories to life. Editors then curate the highest stories throughout the day, across a spread of topics, so our readers get the newest news from the simplest sources.” Microsoft has however been working to get rid of the human element, which costs around $40 per hour each.
BusinessInsider suspects the move was driven by the Bing team, which now owns Microsoft News.
A Microsoft spokesperson said: “Like all companies, we evaluate our business daily. this will end in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, re-deployment in others. These decisions aren’t the results of the present pandemic.”