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50 journalists to lose job to robots at Microsoft

The American multi-national tech giant, Microsoft is set to replace about 50 journalists working in the company with robots, while most affected are contract employees working as curators for the company’s news website, MSN.

Penpushing reports that, sources from the organization revealed that the company has notified the affected workers that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30, disclosing that effective from the said date, artificial intelligence would be used to perform the news production tasks in what Microsoft calls “evaluation of its business”.

. “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,” the company said in a statement, according to the paper.

Penpushing further reports that, the affected  perform functions such as selection of stories, headlines, pictures and other contents from news organisations for the MSN site, while the British Broadcasting Coropration(BBC) explained that Microsoft, like some other tech companies, pays news organisations to use their contents on its website.

“But, it employs journalists to decide which stories to display and how they are presented. However, Microsoft will retain its full-time news producers, whose functions are similar to those of the contract employees being disengaged’, a report stated.

Meanwhile, one of the affected employees said  their functions had been semi-automated for a few months now, adding, “it is demoralising to think machines can replace us but there you go’.


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