One issue that has attracted the attention of journalists in recent years is undoubtedly the way in which artificial intelligence could assume professional functions in certain areas. And it almost seems like a script twist, but the fact is that this professional group is one of the first to have begun to suffer the consequences of this technological revolution, since as the British newspaper The Guardian reports today, Microsoft has decided to do without professional services of a team of “pens” to transfer their functions to an automatic system based on artificial intelligence.
Specific, we are talking about a team of more than 25 people employed by PA Media, a news and content agency operating in the UK and Ireland, and until now responsible for maintaining the home pages of the MSN website, as well as Microsoft Edge. In other words, the journalists affected by this measure did not produce their own content, but were responsible for making a selection of content, taking into account certain criteria, so that these were published in these locations.
From now on, these functions will be assumed by an artificial intelligence system, which will be in charge of making said selection, as well as taking it to the platforms affected by the change. Not much is known about this technological development, but most likely, it has been “fed” with all (or at least a good part) of the news story selected so far by journalists, and that based on this information, tests have been carried out that offer a good level of accuracy .
Although one might think that this measure is related in some way to the coronavirus crisis, Microsoft has reported that this is not the case. This action is part of the desire, by those of Redmond, to renew the operation of certain operations, so it can be understood that more movements like this may occur in the future. Not so much in the creation and edition of content, as the treatment of the same.
Although it is a movement that in theory may make sense, personally I find it somewhat dangerous. Artificial intelligence is capable, for example, of “understanding” what a news story is about, but in many cases it is not so much of interpreting its meaning, detecting sarcasm, determining whether it is reliable information or a false news … journalists who, Until now, they carried out these functions have an inherent capacity to be human, to be able to interpret intentionality. And although I hope that AI is capable of doing the same, I have many doubts about it.