Microsoft is laying off dozens of journalists and editorial workers at its Microsoft News and MSN organizations.
The layoffs are part of a bigger push by Microsoft to rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to pick news and content that’s presented on MSN.com, inside Microsoft’s Edge browser, and in the company’s various Microsoft News apps.
Many of the affected workers are part of Microsoft’s SANE (search, ads, News, Edge) division, and are contracted as human editors to help pick stories.
While Microsoft says the layoffs are not directly related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, media businesses across the world have been hit hard by advertising revenues plummeting across TV, newspapers, online, and more
Nearly two years ago, Microsoft revealed it had “more than 800 editors working from 50 locations around the world.”
Microsoft has gradually been moving towards AI for its Microsoft News work in recent months, and has been encouraging publishers and journalists to make use of AI, too.
Microsoft uses AI to scan for content and then process and filter it and even suggest photos for human editors to pair it with.