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IBM Plans To Automate HR Functions With AI, Pauses Hiring For 7,800 Jobs

The Big Blue plans to automate its human resources department with artificial intelligence systems

Tech corporation IBM has hinted at the possibility of utilising AI and other automated systems to replace a considerable portion of its workforce, joining other leading tech firms in adopting and implementing AI across various products and operations.

Around 7,800 job positions have been put on hold for hiring, as IBM plans to leverage AI and automated technologies to replace them within the next five years.

According to Bloomberg, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna revealed during an interview that the Human Resources department was among the areas being considered for AI replacement. The company is looking to delegate HR tasks such as employee movements and services to automated systems, while roles that require a more human touch will still be filled for the next decade.

More layoffs underway

However, according to Krishna, hiring for non-customer-facing positions will be reduced or halted, which could impact roughly 26,000 jobs, including the 7,800 positions that are planned to be directly replaced by AI.

The Big Blue has a global workforce of approximately 280,000 individuals. The potential replacement of 7,800 positions with AI would account for roughly 3% of its total employee count. Nevertheless, it would represent one of the largest planned workforce replacements by AI systems since the advent of the AI technology trend.

This development coincides with a period in which the tech industry has been reducing costs by laying off large numbers of workers, including Microsoft’s layoff of around 10,000 employees, Meta’s layoff of 11,000, Google’s layoff of 12,000 and even entertainment giants Disney laid off its entire metaverse division.

The proliferation of AI technology, as demonstrated by widely used services like ChatGPT and Midjourney, raises the question of whether IBM’s initiative to replace 7,800 jobs is a one-off occurrence or if it will be followed by similar actions from other companies, leading to more job cuts across the globe.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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