Journalists, Beware: The Robots Are Taking Over Your Jobs!

Published June 1st, 2020 - 03:00 GMT
Journalists, Beware: The Robots Are Taking Over Your Jobs!
Robot journalists will soon pick and publish news articles provided by external sources. (Shutterstock: charles taylor)

For years, the world has been anticipating a robotic take over of the current job market.

Jobs have since been ranked according to how prone they are to be automated, in efforts to warn professionals and pushing them to make the needed changes before it's too late.

As Microsoft announces replacing its news editorial staff with robots, it becomes clear that even what we thought to be the most human-based jobs can be run by artificially intelligent machines.

According to Microsoft's recent announcement, robots will very soon replace about 50 journalists, whose main tasks include choosing news pieces and other content that are produced by external sources, before they are published through news apps and websites.

By the end of June 2020, robot journalists will be able to scan through news articles provided to Microsoft by news agencies, in order for it to decide whether the content is worth publishing across Microsoft platforms before it suggests possible photos that go with it.

This decision aims at minimizing the time needed for each news publishing task, the number of people supervising it, and consequently cutting on expenses so the company can make different investments.

While Microsoft made it clear that its groundbreaking decision has nothing to do with the economic damage caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the tech giant referred to its efforts to make use of AI applications in running its business, so it allocates its financial resources for more advanced projects.

Yet, the absence of human supervision when it comes to sharing news in the fake news era does raise questions over the potential success, even if smart technologies are put in use to determine whether a piece of certain information or image is true or not.

While robots haven't been developed enough complexity to write entire news stories from scratch or to conduct investigations, journalism has for very long been a subject of debate to whether it can be automated or not, especially at a time when political correctness holds a very special significance specifically in reporting world events without offending any group.

On the other hand, people in favor of robotic news reporting argue that it's the best way for both news organizations and the public to ensure neutral and objective news, where there is very little space if any for human biases often detected in today's world of media.

There remains fears that AI-based journalism might eventually leave the whole industry in the hands of a limited number of programs that are carefully designed in favor of certain ideologies, agendas, languages, or parts of the world.


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