How well Artificial Intelligence (AI) software can carry out the jobs of human journalists have come into question after a mixed-race member of British pop group Little Mix pointed out that editors at Microsoft's news and search site MSN.com mixed-up photos of the band members. But little did the singer know that the mistake was not done by a human journalist.
According to a source-based report in The Guardian on Tuesday, the image was picked by Microsoft's AI software. The criticism of the robot editors came barely 10 days after Microsoft late last month decided to fire dozens of human journalists and replace them with AI.
The AI software selected a story about Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall's experience with racism to appear on MSN.com. But to illustrate the story, the software used a photo of Thirlwall's bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock.
On her Instagram story on Friday, Thirlwall slammed MSN for picking up the wrong photo. "@MSN If you're going to copy and paste articles from other accurate media outlets, you might want to make sure you're using an image of the correct mixed-race member of the group," Thirlwall wrote.
She added: "This s*** happens to @leighannepinnock and I ALL THE TIME that it's become a running joke ... It offends me that you couldn't differentiate the two women of colour out of four members of a group … DO BETTER!"
A spokesperson for Microsoft told The Guardian: "As soon as we became aware of this issue, we immediately took action to resolve it and have replaced the incorrect image."