Microsoft has retained at least 50 news production workers and is replacing them with artificial intelligence (AI) based algorithms to carry out their editing responsibilities.
A report in the Seattle Times on Saturday said about 50 contracted employees had arrived through working agencies, informing IFG and MAQ consultants that “their services will no longer be needed after June 30”.
These news production contractors work with the news content arm of companies that handle Microsoft News, MSN.com and other assets.
A Microsoft spokesman said in a statement that they, like all companies, regularly evaluate the business.
A Microsoft spokesman said: “This could lead to increased investment in some areas and relocation in others from time to time. These decisions are not the result of the current epidemic.”
Some employees told the Seattle Times that “MSN MI will use AI to replace the production they were doing.”
The work involves dozens of publishing partners using algorithms to identify trending news stories, rewrite headlines or add better photographs or slide shows.
In addition to the production work, the contract staff also planned the content, maintained the editorial calendars of the partner news websites, and scheduled the content for them.