Can artificial intelligence do as good a job of prioritizing information as a journalist? That’s what Microsoft seems to think. Its American and British editorial teams, nearly 80 journalists, have just learned of their dismissal.. All will be replaced by algorithms. “This decision is not related to the Covid-19 pandemic,” a Microsoft spokesman said. Journalists employed by the multinational 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 every time we open a tab in the Microsoft Edge browser. So their audience is massive.
In practical terms, these journalists must select which press articles they wish to highlight so that the Internet user has a panorama of the news of the day, from the most serious to the lightest. This human work aims to value the most reliable sources of information and original content. . By deciding to entrust this work to artificial intelligence, Microsoft is following the same path as other platforms, such as Google, YouTube or Facebook. The result is far from flawless. It is not uncommon to see articles from dubious sources springing up. The hierarchy is also experiencing setbacks: at the end of 2018, an article by Ouest-France about the new owner of a Breton hair salon had found itself at the top of Apple News. Since then, Apple has abandoned the use of artificial intelligence in favor of human beings. The result is out of step with the measure.