Back in 2018, Microsoft developed a news engine to power MSN.com, Microsoft News mobile apps, Edge start page and more. The Microsoft News news engine curates news via publishing partnerships, human editors, and AI. Microsoft partnered with premium publishers like USA Today, The New York Times, FOX News, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and more than 3,000 brands in all major global markets to aggregate the best news, videos, photos and other content and deliver it for free to users across the web, phone and PC.
In May, we reported that Microsoft laid off dozens of editors for Microsoft News in favor of an AI-driven system of picking news. Around 50 staff were affected in USA. They were not direct employees of Microsoft but they were working via staffing agencies Aquent and MAQ Consulting.
Yesterday, Geekwire reported that Microsoft is now laying off an unspecified number of direct employees from MSN, including some senior leaders on the Microsoft News editorial team. As expected, Microsoft is not commenting publicly on the job cuts. I hope Microsoft has improved its AI news engine dramatically in the past few weeks. Last month, we reported a story on how Microsoft’s AI engine struggling to match the quality of human news editors.