Microsoft's replacement of journalists with AI prompts industry fears

Occurred: May 2020

Microsoft's announcement that it had replaced dozens of news journalists and editors with artificial intelligence, triggering fears about the loss of media jobs.

According to Insider and The Guardian, around 50 people were let go in the US and 27 in the UK, most of whom had been curating articles on Microsoft News, MSN, and Microsoft's Edge internet browser. 

A UK employee told The Guardian '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.' 

The Verge reported that Microsoft had increasingly been using AI to spot trending news stories, change headlines and suggest photos for human editors to pair it with.

➕ A few weeks later, Microsoft's new AI system confused members of the band Little Mix

Operator: Microsoft/MSN
Developer: Microsoft/MSN
Country: USA; UK
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Automate copywriting
Technology: Machine learning; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning
Issue: Employment; Ethics/values
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: January 2023