International Business Machines (IBM) expects to pause hiring for roles as roughly 7,800 jobs could be replaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the coming years, CEO Arvind Krishna told Bloomberg News on Monday.
Hiring specifically in back-office functions such as human resources will be suspended or slowed, Krishna said, adding that 30 percent of non-customer-facing roles could be replaced by AI and automation in five years.
His comment comes at a time when AI has caught the imagination of people around the world after the launch of Microsoft-backed OpenAI's viral chatbot, ChatGPT, in November last year.
The reduction could include not replacing roles vacated by attrition, the PC-maker told the publication.
IBM did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Last month, it was reported that investors in US tech giants would scrutinize if the cost cuts and layoffs boosted profits to their satisfaction, while the companies emphasized how artificial intelligence will be their next growth driver.
Microsoft, Meta, and Alphabet, along with Amazon, said between November and March they would slash 70,000 jobs in a rapidly weakening economy, following a pandemic-led hiring boom. Meta has announced two rounds of layoffs. The companies were expected to give updates on their AI efforts, a trend noticeable since last quarter when chief executives packed earnings calls with mentions of the technology.
Microsoft has integrated OpenAI's ChatGPT technology into its search engine Bing, pitting it against market leader Google.
Google has begun the public release of its chatbot Bard.
Amazon's cloud division AWS, the world's largest, has released a suite of technologies aimed at helping other companies develop their own chatbots backed by AI, and Meta has published an AI model that can pick out individual objects from within an image.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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