Axel Springer CEO Warns AI May ‘Simply Replace’ Most Journalism Jobs

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Axel Springer, the international media conglomerate based in Germany, has warned that journalism may be “simply replaced” by AI. The warning came as the company slashed an undisclosed number of jobs, as it aims to improve its annual results by over $100 million in three years.

One of the largest media companies in the world, Axel Springer owns Bild, Europe’s most widely-circulated tabloid, the German newspaper Die Welt, as well as Politico in the U.S. and Business Insider.

In a letter to staff, Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner warned of a significant reduction in jobs across the company, and of more disruption on the horizon due to the influence of AI.

“There will be significant job reductions in the areas of production, layout, proofreading and administration,” said the letter.

The company’s results, said the CEO “must improve by around €100 million ($106 million) in the next three years. Through increases in turnover, but also through cost reductions.”

Warning that “artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to make independent journalism better than it ever was — or simply replace it,” Döpfner reportedly urged a renewed focus on original, investigative journalism, as well as exclusive news and original commentary, as machines would quickly surpass humans in the task of aggregating information.

Axel Springer currently employs approximately 18,000 employees around the world, including over 3,000 journalists.

While vowing not to reduce the “journalistic core” of the company, the Springer CEO nonetheless said that “we will also part with colleagues in the editorial offices if certain profiles no longer fit the required competencies.”

Döpfner said that a goal of the company was to transition from its legacy business of paper publications to a “digital only” media company, a process that he said would “take a few more years.”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


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