AI Is Coming for Big Tech Jobs—however Not within the Way You Think | EUROtoday

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Aaron Damigos’ inbox was hit with a dreaded, ubiquitous business-update calendar invite on June 3. The assembly included somebody from HR, his supervisor, and higher administration—and in the end resulted within the sudden finish to his job as an internet assist affiliate with Microsoft.

Microsoft reportedly laid off some 1,000 individuals in early June, pulling from its combined actuality and Azure cloud departments, and likewise Damigos’ shopper gross sales division. An e-mail to staff from Jason Zander, govt vice chairman of strategic missions and applied sciences at Microsoft, leaked to Business Insider, blamed a pivot to put money into synthetic intelligence: “Our clear focus as a company is to define the AI wave and empower all our customers to succeed in the adoption of this transformative technology. Along the way, we make decisions that align with our long-term vision and strategy while ensuring the sustainability and growth of Microsoft.”

Damigos, who lives in Tacoma, Washington, says he wasn’t informed {that a} push for AI instantly led to the top of his job particularly, which concerned serving to clients perceive easy methods to use Microsoft merchandise. But it’s clear that Microsoft, the most important backer of OpenAI, is all in on the tech. “I think the shift toward AI work has unfortunately led to the deprioritization of some essential customer-facing roles,” says Damigos, who has been chronicling his layoff journey and showcasing his expertise on TikTok. “I helped people understand how to effectively use and understand the products.” He provides that he felt his workforce had “a lot of potential” to make a greater buyer expertise for Microsoft—however in the end, the corporate moved to make investments elsewhere.

Microsoft didn’t verify the authenticity of Zander’s emails. “Organizational and workforce adjustments are a necessary and regular part of managing our business,” says Craig Cincotta, a Microsoft spokesperson. “We will continue to prioritize and invest in strategic growth areas for our future and in support of our customers and partners.”

No one is aware of but fairly how AI will affect work in the long run, however many specialists largely agree that AI is not going to substitute most staff anytime quickly. “AI will reshape the labor market,” says Nick Bunker, director of financial analysis on the job board Indeed. “It’s just not clear how it will reshape it.” Some predict that it’s going to create extra jobs—however some staff are at the moment coaching their very own AI replacements. But the layoffs occurring now present that AI hype, not futuristic AI colleagues, could cause 1000’s of individuals to lose their jobs.

Microsoft isn’t alone. Dropbox introduced 500 layoffs in April 2023, and CEO Drew Houston acknowledged that AI had performed a task. “In an ideal world, we’d simply shift people from one team to another. And we’ve done that wherever possible,” Houston’s assertion mentioned. “However, our next stage of growth requires a different mix of skill sets, particularly in AI and early-stage product development.” Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg made comparable statements about chopping jobs to put money into AI earlier this yr, saying in a submit in February: “A major goal will be building the most popular and most advanced AI products and services,” as Meta left its “year of efficiency,” which resulted in downsizing the corporate. Google, too, has funneled cash into its Anthropic AI developments, and its CEO, Sindar Pichai, warned of steady cuts all through 2024, which started in January. That comes regardless of Google reporting sturdy progress. “We’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead,” says Bailey Tomson, a Google spokesperson. In 2023 and 2024, a number of Google groups “made changes to become more efficient and work better,” Tomson says. “Through this, we’re simplifying our structures to give employees more opportunity to work on our most innovative and important advances and our biggest company priorities, while reducing bureaucracy and layers.”