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Microsoft lays off journalists, to be replaced by robots

An artificial intelligence can do such a good job of curation and prioritization of information for a journalist? This seems to be the thinking of Microsoft. The editorial teams of american and british of its news portals, nearly 80 journalists, come to learn of their dismissal, reported Business Insider and the Guardian. They will be replaced by algorithms. "This decision is not related to the pandemic Covid-19," said a spokesperson of Microsoft. It could have a global reach: the portals of Microsoft News are present in fifty countries.

The journalists employed by Microsoft do not write articles. Their job is to manage the news portals of the american giant, a kind of "press review" that we see appear each time you open a tab in the Microsoft browser or the Edge that makes the site MSN. Their audience is so massive.

algorithms are far from being blameless

in practical terms, these journalists need to manually select what news articles they wish to put forward, so that the user has an overview of the news of the day, from the most serious to the most light. This human work, aims at valuing the sources of information the most reliable and original content, with a tone family: Microsoft does not want that the children find themselves in front of the content to be too violent or explicit when they launch their Internet browser.

In deciding to entrust this work of curation with artificial intelligence, Microsoft follows the same route as Google with its service Google News. YouTube and Facebook are also based on algorithms. The result is far from perfect. It is not uncommon to see out of these platforms of articles from questionable sources, when it is not a question of misinformation. The prioritization is also known misfire: the end of 2018, an article of Ouest-France on the new owner of a hairdressing salon, breton found himself at the head of Apple News, front of the case Carlos Ghosn. Since then, Apple has abandoned the use of artificial intelligence and has entrusted the management of his widget to publishers. The result is much better.

The editorial team conseilleUn hair salon breton is found in an Apple NewsFace to Gafa, CNN and NewsCorp are launching their own agrégateursSujetsMicrosoftIntelligence ArtificielleAucun comment

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