Sources speaking to The Seattle Times - under condition of anonymity - said that the news production contractors were using algorithms to identity trending news stories, rewriting headlines and adding photographs or slide-shows to stories.
Those who were employed to work on Microsoft's MSN website and Edge browser homepages, which are used by millions of Brits on a daily basis, were informed that their skills would no longer be required as AI can do their jobs.
In addition to the production work, the contract staff also planned the content, maintained the editorial calendars of the partner news websites, and scheduled the content for them.
"It's demoralising to think machines can replace us but there you go", a kind of going through redundancy advised the paper.
Speaking to the Seattle Times, which broke the story, one US-based employee said: 'It's been semi-automated for a few months but now it's full speed ahead. Clear headings that are appropriate for the format are guaranteed by the manual curation of news stories while avoiding untrustworthy stories and encouraging a spread of political opinions.
According to one of the terminated contractors, the decision to replace humans with software was a risky move, as AI may not be fully familiar with strict internal editorial guidelines in place at MSN. However, there are ways for people in these professions to take advantage of A.I. instead of fearing it, including journalists using A.I.as their researchers, lawyers investing time to study computer science, and musicians harnessing A.I. -powered tools.
The layoffs are part of Microsoft's bigger drive to rely on artificial intelligence to select news and content from MSN.com, inside Microsoft's Edge platform, and the numerous Microsoft News apps in the business. This can lead to increased investments in some places and, from time to time, to redistribution in others. "These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic", a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying.