Microsoft AI amplifies false news stories

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Microsoft’s homepage, MSN.com, has been amplifying false and bizarre news stories, raising questions about the company’s use of AI to curate its content.

One example is a poll that was generated by Microsoft’s AI and attached to an article about the murder of a young woman in Australia. The poll asked readers to choose between three options for the reason behind her death: murder, accident, or suicide. The poll was widely criticized for being insensitive and exploitative.

In other cases, Microsoft has republished false and misleading articles from fringe websites. For example, the company has published articles falsely claiming that President Joe Biden fell asleep during a moment of silence for victims of a wildfire, that former NBA player Brandon Hunter was “useless” at the age of 42, and that San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston resigned after criticism from Elon Musk.

Microsoft has laid off hundreds of human editors in recent years, and some former employees say that the company is now relying too heavily on AI to curate its news content. This, they say, is leading to the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

Microsoft has refused to say how many human editors still work on curating its homepage, or if it is all done by AI and algorithms. The company has also declined to comment on the specific examples of false and misleading articles that have been published on its site.

Microsoft has said that it is “committed to addressing the recent issue of low quality articles contributed to the feed” and that it is working with its content partners to identify and address issues.

The sources for this piece include an article in CNN.

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