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posted by hubie on Thursday May 04 2023, @07:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the maybe-somebody-really-will-get-fired-for-choosing-IBM dept.

IBM to Stop Hiring for Jobs That AI Could Do

Routine tasks like transferring employees between departments are likely to be fully automated:

American tech major IBM anticipates pausing hiring for positions that it believes artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually take over.

In an interview with Bloomberg, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said the company will suspend or pause hiring for back-office functions such as human resources.

The company employs some 26,000 people in these non-customer-facing roles, Krishna said.

"I could easily see 30% of that getting replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period," he added.

[...] Routine tasks like transferring employees between departments or providing letters of employment verification are likely to be fully automated, said the company's chief.

Over the next ten years, he continued, it is likely that some HR functions related to workforce composition analysis and productivity will not be replaced.

IBM Pauses Hiring to Onboard AI Instead

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told Bloomberg that 7,800 back-office jobs could be replaced with AI in the next five years:

I have no mouth and I must scream—the AI workforce appears to be full steam ahead. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said that the company is planning to pause or slow hiring in the coming years for roles in which AI could replace humans.

[...] "There is no blanket hiring 'pause' in place," Tim Davidson, IBM communications officer, told Gizmodo in an email. "IBM is being deliberate and thoughtful in our hiring with a focus on revenue-generating roles, and we're being very selective when filling jobs that don't directly touch our clients or technology. We are actively hiring for thousands of positions right now."

[...] What companies like IBM are willfully ignoring is that AI could serve a supplement to labor by making menial tasks easier or even non-existent, thereby optimizing the performance of both that artificial intelligence and the human worker. New research from Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that 14% of employees that used ChatGPT in their workflow saw an increase in productivity—with the least experienced and least skilled workers completing tasks 35% faster.


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Related Stories

Tyler Perry Puts $800 Million Studio Expansion on Hold Because of OpenAI's Sora 16 comments

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2024/02/i-just-dont-see-how-we-survive-tyler-perry-issues-hollywood-warning-over-ai-video-tech/

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Thursday, filmmaker Tyler Perry spoke about his concerns related to the impact of AI video synthesis on entertainment industry jobs. In particular, he revealed that he has suspended a planned $800 million expansion of his production studio after seeing what OpenAI's recently announced AI video generator Sora can do.

"I have been watching AI very closely," Perry said in the interview. "I was in the middle of, and have been planning for the last four years... an $800 million expansion at the studio, which would've increased the backlot a tremendous size—we were adding 12 more soundstages. All of that is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I'm seeing. I had gotten word over the last year or so that this was coming, but I had no idea until I saw recently the demonstrations of what it's able to do. It's shocking to me."

[...] "It makes me worry so much about all of the people in the business," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Because as I was looking at it, I immediately started thinking of everyone in the industry who would be affected by this, including actors and grip and electric and transportation and sound and editors, and looking at this, I'm thinking this will touch every corner of our industry."

You can read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter

[...] Perry also looks beyond Hollywood and says that it's not just filmmaking that needs to be on alert, and he calls for government action to help retain human employment in the age of AI. "If you look at it across the world, how it's changing so quickly, I'm hoping that there's a whole government approach to help everyone be able to sustain."

Previously on SoylentNews:
OpenAI Teases a New Generative Video Model Called Sora - 20240222

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:00AM (15 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:00AM (#1304698)

    If AI comes online globally and nothing is done to support the huge #'s of people who will no longer be needed, things will get ugly.
    Massive unemployment historically does not end well.
    These jobs will be replaced permanently.
    'Let them eat cake.'

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:28AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:28AM (#1304700)

      Let them eat shit and drink bleach.

      UBI incoming?

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:33AM (1 child)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:33AM (#1304702)

        drink bleach

        Dude... Haven't you heard? COVID is over.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday May 04 2023, @02:55PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 04 2023, @02:55PM (#1304732) Journal

          Q. Did the loony anti vax hysteria finally end?
          A. No, it just died down.

          --
          When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by pe1rxq on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:37AM (10 children)

      by pe1rxq (844) on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:37AM (#1304708) Homepage

      The automobile left a lot of blacksmiths without a job.
      They found new jobs. It is not like there are thousands of unemployed ones roaming the countryside...

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Opportunist on Thursday May 04 2023, @12:33PM (9 children)

        by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday May 04 2023, @12:33PM (#1304713)

        The difference this time is that the people displaced won't find something new.

        You'll find that the most "problematic" displaced people have always been the ones with the lowest skill set. Manual labor was the first to go, e.g. farmhands were replaced with machines. Simple conveyor belt work was automated away by industry robots. For a time, the service industry took them in, but even here we're seeing them being replaced by robots and with AI, even burger flipper jobs will no longer exist.

        Until now, some jobs were hard to automate because they required at least a modicum of intelligence to do, if only a little. It doesn't take a Nobel Prize laureate to take a burger order, but until recently, automating this wasn't exactly easy unless you wanted to rely on people doing their own ordering at a terminal or app. And while this may at least work for standardized franchise joints, traditional restaurants couldn't do that, at least not sensibly. AI now pretty much pushes more people out of those jobs, too.

        And that's the crucial problem, AI raised the "IQ bar" for jobs considerably. The "you must be this intelligent to get ANY kind of job" bar has always been rising. Before the industrial revolution, even someone with an IQ under 70 could at least be useful to feed some animals or carry sacks of grain. Today, well, we still have jobs flipping burgers and stocking shelves.

        With AI, even quite a few "normal level" jobs are now getting eliminated. And people are not fungible. Twice so if their information, education and intelligence levels don't allow them to shift. You can't turn a burger cook into a neurosurgeon. Sure, both cut meat, but it's still a considerably different skill set.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by gnuman on Thursday May 04 2023, @06:58PM (7 children)

          by gnuman (5013) on Thursday May 04 2023, @06:58PM (#1304793)

          You'll find that the most "problematic" displaced people have always been the ones with the lowest skill set.

          The so-called AI does nothing for the "lowest skill set" workers. Absolutely nothing. If you need someone to hit a nail with a hammer, how will their job be automated with AI?

          With AI, even quite a few "normal level" jobs are now getting eliminated. And people are not fungible. Twice so if their information, education and intelligence levels don't allow them to shift. You can't turn a burger cook into a neurosurgeon.

          The so-called AI does nothing for burner cook job security...

          Heck, I've paid for full access to the ChatGPT ... it's a tool at best. If it's used by someone without skill in the area, you will get a disaster. You can't replace an engineer with chatgpt+construction worker. The only thing it could displace is most of Google's search for stupid things that people have hard time finding thanks to leach ad-sites. Companies BS'ing about "pausing hiring because of AI" are simply finding an excuse and AI is convenient.

          What AI could replace is the useless double talk of upper management.

          • (Score: 2) by MIRV888 on Thursday May 04 2023, @07:36PM (1 child)

            by MIRV888 (11376) on Thursday May 04 2023, @07:36PM (#1304802)

            You need to check out Boston Dynamics. Production robots for the menial tasks are coming online too.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by gnuman on Thursday May 04 2023, @08:59PM

              by gnuman (5013) on Thursday May 04 2023, @08:59PM (#1304814)

              I know what they do.... they've been promising stuff for a decade+ with little to show for it. But they do enough to keep being funded. You should check out Japanese and their robots that promise to take care of the elderly so they can stave off importing external workers. So far, they have millions of "guest trainees" to do many jobs.

              AI networks have been used already for some time in various QA tasks. Like monitoring if your potato chips are properly baked and throwing the bad ones out of the stream with a puff of air. Or facial recognition, etc.

              Remember the vacuum cleaner hair cutter? Yeah, AI is that type of automation with same quality results. Hairstylists seem to have kept their jobs.

              I expect jobs more augmented with AI in the future. Like manufacturing today is all about CNC manufacturing and not someone eyeballing it.

          • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday May 05 2023, @12:01AM (1 child)

            by Opportunist (5545) on Friday May 05 2023, @12:01AM (#1304840)

            You'll find that companies outsource the handling of those shortcomings of AI to their customers. It's going to be a matter of profit margin. The question will be simply whether it's more costly to deal with the returns, complaints and replacements for the times when AI screws up a product or whether the savings for fewer people offset that cost. That's pretty much it.

            Yes, customers are going to have to deal with more faulty merchandise, but if the more recent past taught us anything, then that people will put up with quite a bit as long as the crap they buy is cheap and it's only time, not money, that they have to spend to fix it.

            • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Friday May 05 2023, @08:45PM

              by gnuman (5013) on Friday May 05 2023, @08:45PM (#1304927)

              Yes, customers are going to have to deal with more faulty merchandise, but if the more recent past taught us anything, then that people will put up with quite a bit as long as the crap they buy is cheap and it's only time, not money, that they have to spend to fix it.

              Depends. Maybe AI will be good at replacing telemarketing and drive us to have basically abandon phones for calling outside the permitted contact list. Or maybe we'll be able to use AI to screen calls from unknown numbers ;)

              Customers may also vote with their money and choose a better customer service (ie. competition) next time.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05 2023, @10:07AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05 2023, @10:07AM (#1304867)

            The so-called AI does nothing for the "lowest skill set" workers. Absolutely nothing. If you need someone to hit a nail with a hammer, how will their job be automated with AI?

            That's a very condescending and generally incorrect attitude to those with physical skills. That carpenter might not be able to code* but I bet you wouldn't turn up for your second day if you were given a job on a building site.

            --

            *Then again, in his spare time he might be a major kernel contributor. Either way, I bet you have pointy hair.

            • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Friday May 05 2023, @08:41PM (1 child)

              by gnuman (5013) on Friday May 05 2023, @08:41PM (#1304925)

              You need to read the context I was replying to. GP talked about "lowest skill set workers" being replaced by automation. I simply said that AI and lowest skill workers are least compatible when it comes to replacement. AI augments higher skilled workers, not construction workers. It's not meant to be condescending!

              And regarding construction work, I actually enjoyed it. Much easier on the body than sitting at a desk for 8 hours. But you know what is annoying about US/Canada house construction sites? No proper scaffolding. No crane. It's like building a house 100 years in the past. Even 5 story apartment buildings didn't bother with a cheap tower crane.

              I bet you have pointy hair.

              Hahaha! Or lack of hair?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08 2023, @10:06AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08 2023, @10:06AM (#1305268)

                The point I was making is that the guys getting paid to hit a nail with a hammer are a long way from "low-skilled". Given the plethora of nail guns, anyone still hitting them with a hammer is probably an artisan.

                The "low-skill" jobs it is going to replace are call centers and office drones.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday May 05 2023, @02:13PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 05 2023, @02:13PM (#1304893) Journal

          The difference this time is that the people displaced won't find something new.

          Unless, of course, it's not different this time either. Economies existed before AI. Maybe we ought to figure out how they did that?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Thursday May 04 2023, @02:53PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 04 2023, @02:53PM (#1304731) Journal

      'Let them eat cake.'

      I think robots prefer the taste of humans. A tasty and efficient fuel source, that is not as filling.

      Some people say that AI and robots will generate enough wealth to feed the unemployed. I propose that AI and robots will generate enough unemployed to feed the robots.

      As for another sibling comment that suggests...

      Let them eat shit and drink bleach.

      I don't believe that to be as efficient a fuel source as humans, or even cake.

      Plus, humans, properly maintained can breed in large numbers for a permanent fuel source. They will grow their own food. Cake, shit and bleach cannot do that.

      --
      When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:31AM (9 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:31AM (#1304701)

    The upcoming social devastation first fully entered my radar when our CEO announced that we wouldn't hire interns from the local U to do simple coding jobs this summer for the first time in 35 years, because the jobs in question had already been done by GPT-4.

    And then this Tuesday, we had a lovely "workshop" in which a highly-paid and overly cheerful consultant (probably a Microsoft shill) presented ChatGPT to the entire staff, then invited us to play with the bot using demo accounts and ask it to do this or that job. Sure enough, the consultant and our CEO heavily hinted more than a couple times that "role changes" - a nice euphemism for what happens shortly before there's no more "role" for you - are likely to happen very soon.

    Needless to say, many employees came out of this workshop properly depressed and extremely worried, because they read the news too, and now they can see it's coming for their own job and circling around them like a vulture. I know they're worried because I went to the local watering hole with them to get hammered after the day's work, and once enough alcohol was circulating in their system, they said exactly what they thought unfiltered.

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by Mojibake Tengu on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:51AM (4 children)

      by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Thursday May 04 2023, @10:51AM (#1304703) Journal

      As always in history before, surplus workers can be easily morphed into soldiers and wasted quickly.

      I am sure famous GPT-4 in its large scale economy advisor role will suggest this very option too, rather sooner than later.

      --
      Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Thursday May 04 2023, @04:45PM (3 children)

        by mhajicek (51) on Thursday May 04 2023, @04:45PM (#1304754)

        History does not always apply to the future. Why use squishy soldiers, who cost millions to train, equip, transport, and support, when you can use cheap, disposable, mass produced, AI controlled drones?

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Friday May 05 2023, @10:11AM (2 children)

          by deimtee (3272) on Friday May 05 2023, @10:11AM (#1304868) Journal

          If you are planning to morph them into soldiers and waste them quickly then training, equipment and support are very cheap. Transport never cost much to begin with.

          --
          If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
          • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday May 05 2023, @03:46PM (1 child)

            by mhajicek (51) on Friday May 05 2023, @03:46PM (#1304898)

            You don't seem to know much about the US military.

            --
            The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
            • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Saturday May 06 2023, @02:12AM

              by deimtee (3272) on Saturday May 06 2023, @02:12AM (#1304950) Journal

              You seem to have missed that MT wasn't suggesting producing highly trained, well equipped troops. He was saying that GPT-4 would suggest it as a way of getting rid of surplus population.
              Bonus points when two countries' lizards in charge collaborate to produce troops that can be pointed at each other in a long, high-casualty, money-making, conflict.*

              *why yes, I am getting cynical in my old age.

              --
              If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by gnuman on Thursday May 04 2023, @07:06PM

      by gnuman (5013) on Thursday May 04 2023, @07:06PM (#1304796)

      The upcoming social devastation first fully entered my radar when our CEO announced that we wouldn't hire interns from the local U to do simple coding jobs this summer for the first time in 35 years, because the jobs in question had already been done by GPT-4.

      It's ok. In a year or two they will find out that there are no developers to hire and GPT-4 did a poor job. It took me an hour with Plus account to get shitty code from that thing. It's basically equivalent of copy-paste-stackoverflow "developer".

      Needless to say, many employees came out of this workshop properly depressed and extremely worried, because they read the news too, and now they can see it's coming for their own job and circling around them like a vulture. I know they're worried because I went to the local watering hole with them to get hammered after the day's work, and once enough alcohol was circulating in their system, they said exactly what they thought unfiltered.

      I don't know what stuff you do. I fix bugs in "enterprise" software. I'm 100% not worried about being replaced by GPT-4. Sure, it will pass interview questions with flying colors. But it does a shit job when more context is required. Furthermore, you can see lack of logic in its results and its reasoning.

      I look forward when GPT-5 or 20 is more capable, but certainly I'm not worried about being replaced by it. And if at some point they are crazy to try it, I'll just become a goat farmer (yes, seriously ;)

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday May 05 2023, @02:05PM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 05 2023, @02:05PM (#1304891) Journal
      Called it. [soylentnews.org] A company circling the drain and attempting to use the latest business fad to increase its sell price is not a demonstration of the power of current day AI. As to worrying, get your resume out instead.

      I don't see the point of blaming AI for the mundane crap we do to each other.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 06 2023, @02:16AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 06 2023, @02:16AM (#1304952)

        No. You called "the company is replacing juniors because they are circling the drain".
        The GP states the programmers are worried because they are being replaced by AI. The company is doing fine. Will be doing even better when they cut all those expensive programmers.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 06 2023, @07:00PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 06 2023, @07:00PM (#1305035) Journal

          No. You called "the company is replacing juniors because they are circling the drain". The GP states the programmers are worried because they are being replaced by AI. The company is doing fine. Will be doing even better when they cut all those expensive programmers.

          On the first part, I indeed said that and continue to see the "replacing of juniors" as a sign of drain circling. And on the second, what AI will those programmers be replaced by? It won't be GPT-4. It'll be some hypothetical future app which the business doesn't even know if it can use either due to lack of capability on the part of the app or because of IP details (licensing, company code becoming part of the AI's training set, etc). It's one thing to take chances that could result in high profits and another to take chances that a) don't improve the business's outlook much, and b) have huge hidden uncertainties to them.

          That brings me to your last sentence. Here, "doing even better" is resale value and that is hugely overstated. Who will buy this? Even if we assume AI is a rain-making buzzword, the prospective buyer can just use the same app and roll their own business. The business got rid of the programmers. What else do they have of value? Maybe some IP blockers?

          I saw this movie during the dotcom bubble. Some company will provide all the doodads and you can make your own web-based business, ISP, etc. The typical shovel provider scheme to a gold rush. The problem is that when it gets that cheap to start a business, then it won't be a highly profitable business. It'd be fine for a group without significant profit expectations, but I bet these guys have expectations and have gambled as such.

          Getting rid of headcount and groping for the latest tech buzzwords are signs of the end for the business. It's no longer "We do X well and that's how we make money."

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by corey on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:19AM (4 children)

    by corey (2202) on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:19AM (#1304705)

    Ah it really warms my heart that the first major department to be replaced by artificial intelligence is HR. The people working at my corps HR dept might as well be artificial too.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:41AM (#1304711)

      I figured the easiest jobs for AI to take over would be the C-suite jobs. If companies even as big as Alphabet take orders from venture capitalists on what decisions to make, why do you even need C-suite jobs at all? Think of the massive cost reduction that would bring!

    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday May 04 2023, @12:16PM (1 child)

      by looorg (578) on Thursday May 04 2023, @12:16PM (#1304712)

      Until or if you are in the unfortunate position to apply for a job with said companies. I'm sure there will be a market soon for AI-tailored CV:s etc. Sort of like SEO for job applications. Right keywords and phrases become more important then the person or the actual content.

      • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Thursday May 04 2023, @07:10PM

        by gnuman (5013) on Thursday May 04 2023, @07:10PM (#1304797)

        Just ask chatGPT to write you CV that would pass its inspection ;)

    • (Score: 2) by OrugTor on Thursday May 04 2023, @05:04PM

      by OrugTor (5147) on Thursday May 04 2023, @05:04PM (#1304758)

      "When they came for HR I said nothing because I hate HR"
      You know the rest.
      The differentiating factor of the coming ME3 (Mass Employment Extinction Event) is that they will be coming for damn near all of us.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by pe1rxq on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:40AM (2 children)

    by pe1rxq (844) on Thursday May 04 2023, @11:40AM (#1304709) Homepage

    The only question is if the AI is enough of a sociopath to replace a board member. We already know it is stupid enough.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday May 04 2023, @03:06PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 04 2023, @03:06PM (#1304733) Journal

      All of the bored members are candidates to be replaced by AIs.

      --
      When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by OrugTor on Thursday May 04 2023, @05:07PM

      by OrugTor (5147) on Thursday May 04 2023, @05:07PM (#1304760)

      Maybe. The most likely candidate amongst the C-people for replacement is the shortly-to-be-invented Chief AI Officer.

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