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Microsoft is replacing its journalists with robots. Microsoft owns the news website MSN. MSN shows news from other websites. Journalists pick which news to show on MSN. About 50 journalists will not work for MSN anymore. They are being replaced with artificial intelligence. This is now being called “Robot Journalism”.

Microsoft thinks the artificial intelligence can pick news stories. Some of the journalists don’t think it can do a good job. They think it won’t pick the right stories.

Microsoft is trying to reduce costs. Many other companies are trying similar things. Companies want to reduce costs as much as they can. People are worried about losing their jobs because of this.

Difficult words

Replace (v): To take the place, use instead of something else.

Journalist (n): A person who writes for newspapers.

Artificial (adj): Not real.

Intelligence (n): How smart someone or something is.

Reduce (v): To make less.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English: Coming Soon!

Match the Synonym!

 1. Replace  A. Writer
 2. Journalist  B. Smarts
 3. Artificial  C. Less
 4. Intelligence  D. Instead
 5. Reduce  E. Fake

True or False?

1. Microsoft is going to use robots for their news website. T / F

2. No journalists will lose their jobs. T / F

3. All Journalists think using robots is a great idea. T / F

4. People think the robots might choose the wrong stories. T / F

5. Many companies are trying similar things to Microsoft. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. is / journalists / Microsoft / replacing / its

2. MSN / the / news / Microsoft / owns / website

3. to / reduce / Microsoft / costs / is / trying

4. reduce / want / Companies / costs / to

5. jobs / are / People / about / losing their / worried

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English: Coming Soon!

Anymore Pick Robots
Trying Stories Worried

Microsoft is replacing their journalists with (1)___________. Microsoft owns the news website MSN. MSN shows news from other websites. Journalists pick which news to show on MSN. About 50 journalists will not work for MSN (2)____________. They are being replaced with artificial intelligence. This is now being called “Robot Journalism”.

Microsoft thinks the artificial intelligence can pick news (3)__________. Some of the journalists don’t think it can do a good job. They think it won’t (4)_______ the right stories.

Microsoft is (5)____________ to reduce costs. Many other companies are trying similar things. Companies want to reduce costs as much as they can. People are (6)__________ about losing their jobs because of this.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Do you think robot journalism will become more common in the future?
5. Is it important to make sure news is written by humans?
6. Is it ok for companies to be replacing human employees with AI or machines?
7. What other jobs do you think might disappear in the future?
8. Do you think people will find new jobs that robots can’t do?
9. Should governments protect workers from AI replacing their jobs?
10. Would you trust news less if you knew it was written by AI?
11. Is your job at risk of disappearing because of technology?
12. Are there any jobs that you think could be done better by AI or machines?
13. Are people overreacting about the threat of technology taking away jobs?
14. Do you think technology will replace jobs quicker because of Covid-19?
15. Are there any current jobs that you think will never be replaced by technology?
16. Is it a good thing to use AI for writing local news that isn’t profitable otherwise?
17. Do you think AI taking people’s jobs will hurt the economy?
18. How could AI make your daily life easier?
19. Do we need to protect jobs or do we need to transition to a new system of living?
20. What tasks have you noticed be taken over by machines in your lifetime?