Arvind Krishna, the CEO of International Business Machines Corp.
(IBM), said the company anticipates pausing hiring for positions that it believes artificial intelligence would eventually replace. In an interview, Krishna stated that hiring in back-office roles like human resources will be stopped or slowed. Krishna estimated that there are about 26,000 employees in these non-customer-facing professions. He said: “I could easily see 30% of that getting replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period.”
A loss of 7,800 jobs would result from that. An IBM spokeswoman noted that failing to fill positions lost to attrition would be a part of any decrease. Many observers have expressed concern about the possibility of the labour market being disrupted by artificial intelligence tools, which have captured the public’s attention for their ability to automate customer service, write text, and generate code. One of the biggest labour initiatives to be presented in response to the quickening pace of technological advancement is Krishna’s plan.
According to Krishna, more routine procedures like sending out letters of employment verification or transferring personnel across departments would probably be totally automated. Over the next ten years, he continued, it’s likely that some HR tasks won’t be replaced, like analysing workforce composition and productivity.
About 260,000 people are employed by IBM at the moment, and it is still adding personnel for customer-facing and software development positions.
Compared to a year ago, Krishna added, it’s simpler to find talent now. Prior to the end of the year, the corporation announced job cuts that might eventually affect 5,000 employees. However, according to Krishna, IBM increased its overall workforce by about 7,000 people in the first quarter.
Since taking over as CEO in 2020, Krishna has worked to direct the century-old business towards software and services like hybrid cloud. He has sold off lower-growth companies including the managed infrastructure firm Kyndryl Inc. and a portion of Watson Health. Currently, the company is thinking about selling its weather unit. Due to effective spending management, including the previously disclosed job losses, IBM, situated in Armonk, New York, exceeded earnings expectations in its most recent quarter. James Kavanaugh, the chief financial officer, stated on the day of earnings that new productivity and efficiency measures are anticipated to generate US$2 billion in savings each year by the end of 2024.