AI robots invade media world
When former MSN Money editor, Bryan Joiner lost his position in June 2020 to an algorithm, he said that the ascent of algorithms in the world of journalism will be the natural order of things to come. Microsoft recently laid off many of its editors and journalists at Microsoft News and MSN organisations. It is not alone in this push towards using artificial intelligence robots to curate news and financial reports for its audience. Bloomberg News uses Cyborg to assist its team of financial journalists in the race to be ahead of the pack but even John Micklethwait, the editor in chief of Bloomberg admits that the hedge funds are in the lead with their cutting-edge bots. In broadcasting, China’s state media agency, Xinhua News introduced its first robot female news anchor, Xin Xiaomeng, to the world in February 2019. The replacement for human newscasters has begun.
The current media landscape in Malaysia is daunting. Disruption tears at the fabric of society and the community they serve. As the two biggest media groups, the Star Media Group and Media Prima (which owns the NSTP group, radio, television networks and digital media), are struggling to find the way out of the jungle, more and more jobs are being shed.
What are our retrenched and displaced journalists and editors doing right now?
- The Verge. Tom Warren. 30 May 2020. Microsoft lays off journalists to replace them with AI. www.theverge.com.
- Phys.Org. 10 March 2019. Rob Lever. Robo Journalism gains traction in shifting media landscape. www.phys.org
- Gulf Today.30 September 2019. Dr Mohamed Abdul Zaher. The 10 media companies that will lead Artificial Intelligence Journalism in the next decade. www.gulftoday.ae.
- Thomson Reuters. 17 June 2020. Reuters launches a dedicated audio and voice service enabling customers to expand and engage their audiences. www.thomsonreuters.com
- Quartz. 20 February 2019. Isabella Steger. Chinese state media’s latest innovation is an AI female New Anchor. https://qz.com/1554471/chinas-xinhua-launches-worlds-first-ai-female-news-anchor/
- Geekwire. Todd Bishop. 13 July 2020. Microsoft makes major cuts to MSN editorial team amid AI shift and borader fiscal year-end layoffs. https://www.geekwire.com/2020/microsoft-makes-major-cuts-msn-editorial-team-amid-ai-shift-broader-fiscal-year-end-layoffs/
- Tech by Vice. Motherboard. Bryan Joiner. 9 July 2020. The Robots Microsoft assigned to do my job Can’t Do it.Follow Bryan Joiner on Twitter.
- Forbes.29 March 2019. Bernard Marr. Artificial Intelligence can now write amazing content – what does that mean for humans? www.forbes.com.
- The New York Times. 5 February 2019. Jaclyn Peiser. The Rise of the Robot Reporter. www.nytimes.com
- Arkadium. Robot Journalism. A Publisher’s Guide. www.corporate.arkadium.com
This article is part of our ongoing research on the book "Malaysia's Digital Economy".