Dozens of journalists have been sacked after Microsoft decided to replace them with artificial intelligence software.
The curating of stories from news organisations and selection of headlines and pictures for the MSN site is currently done by journalists.
Staff who maintain the news homepages on Microsoft’s MSN website and its Edge browser, used by millions of Britons every day, have been told that they will be no longer be required because robots can now do their jobs.
Around 27 individuals employed by PA Media, formerly the Press Association, were told on Thursday that they would lose their jobs in a month’s time after Microsoft decided to stop employing humans to select, edit and curate news articles on its homepages.
The US tech giant said in a statement: “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, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic.”
Employees were told Microsoft’s decision to end the contract with PA Media was taken at short notice as part of a global shift away from humans in favour of automated updates for news.
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Microsoft, like some other tech companies, pays news organisations to use their content on its website.
But it employs journalists to decide which stories to display and how they are presented.
Around 50 contract news producers will lose their jobs at the end of June, the Seattle Times reports, but a team of full-time journalists will remain.
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