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Innovation

AI threatens 7,800 jobs as IBM pauses hiring

Meanwhile, Samsung bans employees from using generative AI.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Giant robot throwing man in a trash can. Artifical intelligence replacing jobs concept. Vector illustration.

Is this it?

Moor Studio via iStock/Getty Images Plus | ZDNET

Is this the future that experts (and sci-fi movies) warned us about? Artificial intelligence, at the center of tech discussions since the launch of the widely popular ChatGPT last fall, has the power to automate at least some jobs, according to reports. "Some jobs" translates to 7,800 for IBM. 

Also: ChatGPT's popularity with students slices Chegg's stock nearly in half

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in an interview with Bloomberg that the transition won't be immediate. The company will first pause hiring for those roles it deems could be replaced by artificial intelligence, particularly those for back-office or non-customer-facing roles. 

Also: Generative AI is changing your technology career path. What to know

Krishna explained these roles account for about 26,000 employees at this time, of which he believes 30% (or 7,800) could be fully automated by AI. This would amount to about 3% of the total IBM workforce. 

Using the human resources department as an example of non-customer-facing functions, Krishna told Bloomberg that simple duties like employment verification letters and transferring employees between departments will be handled by artificial intelligence. He expects tasks that require human scrutiny won't be automated for at least a decade, like evaluating workforce composition and productivity.

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Independent of this move, IBM announced 3,900 job cuts in late January. However, many of the roles reduced due to AI will likely come as a result of the upcoming hiring freeze and jobs vacated by attrition. 

Samsung bans AI for its staff

Samsung announced a new policy last week for its employees: Banning the use of generative AI tools after learning staff had uploaded sensitive code in conversations with ChatGPT.

In early April, The Economist Korea reported three different instances where employees entered source code into ChatGPT requesting code optimization and debugging. The third employee shared recorded meeting transcripts with ChatGPT, requesting the AI chatbot write meeting minutes. 

Also: Universities that ban ChatGPT may be hurting their own admissions, according to a study

The announcement was made through a company memo, where Samsung outlined concerns that information shared with AI platforms like Bing Chat and Google Bard could be stored on external servers, potentially compromising sensitive data. 

Interest in these popular generative AI tools has grown exponentially since the launch of ChatGPT last fall, an AI chatbot that now touts over one billion users. 

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