Microsoft’s MSN news portal has been under scrutiny for more than a year due to its reliance on AI-generated content, which has led to concerns about the quality and accuracy of the articles being published. The company has been accused of distributing misleading and often incomprehensible articles to a vast readership.
As reported by CNN, this shift towards AI-generated content can partly be attributed to Microsoft’s decision to reduce its human editorial staff over the years. This comes after the company has redirected its focus towards AI, including a significant investment of $10 billion in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.
The transition to AI-driven content at Microsoft News has raised questions about the implications of the tech industry’s increasing reliance on artificial intelligence within the information ecosystem.
Some notable incidents include Microsoft News publishing a bizarre travel guide to Ottawa, Canada, which advised readers to visit a food bank “on an empty stomach.” Microsoft News has also published other junk content, including bogus stories about fishermen catching mermaids and Bigfoot spottings in the wake of ditching its human editors to favor automation.
Furthermore, Microsoft News faced criticism for running an inappropriate AI-generated poll alongside a syndicated article by The Guardian concerning the discovery of a deceased woman in Australia.
In 2020, Microsoft transitioned to a “personalized feed” that tailors content using algorithms to match audience interests, potentially exposing millions of users to poorly researched and easily debunked articles.
In response to the criticisms, a Microsoft spokesperson stated their commitment to addressing issues related to low-quality articles in the feed and collaborating with content partners to maintain standards.
The future of AI in media remains uncertain, and Microsoft’s approach highlights the challenges faced by an industry already grappling with economic headwinds. Whether Microsoft’s efforts to address the concerns will result in meaningful action remains to be seen.