Behind the scenes of Microsoft’s new news and storytelling platform, Source

Senior director Michael Wann breaks down the impetus behind the site and how the website uses artificial intelligence.

Microsoft has made several AI-related announcements this year. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

REDMOND, WA: Microsoft has launched a news and storytelling website called Source that is powered by a team of in-house former journalists and supported by AI. 

Over the past 10 years, Microsoft has experimented with a few “disparate storytelling sites,” said Michael Wann, senior director of Microsoft Source, but the new platform will allow the tech giant to centralize its editorial efforts.

“What we’ve decided to do is bring [the previous platforms] all under one flagship news and storytelling website,” he said. 

Built by Microsoft developers and brand staffers, Source features articles on company news, digital transformation, artificial intelligence, sustainability and diversity and inclusion. Content is produced internally, driven by a team of former journalists that Wann oversees. 

The platform aims to help Microsoft reach a broader, diversified audience, including journalists, employees, partners, analysts and investors, as well as the coveted Gen-Z demographic.

“The stories aren’t about us. They’re about our customers, who use our technologies to help them achieve more,” Wann added. 

Source, like many other Microsoft functions, incorporates AI to streamline and enhance certain processes. Notably, it incorporates Azure Cognitive text to speech to generate audio narration on long-form content, Wann said. 

Microsoft recently announced the third phase of its partnership with OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, through a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment. The agreement follows previous investments in 2019 and 2021, according to a company statement. On Wednesday, it rolled out an AI-powered Bing homepage

Chief communications officer Frank Shaw this week spoke with PRWeek about using social media to argue for Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of video game company Activision. 

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