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IBM to Pause Hiring for Positions That Can Be Replaced By AI

IBM’s Deep Blue chess computer made history in 1997 when it became the first machine to beat a reigning world chess champion.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has announced that the company plans to pause or slow hiring for back-office roles that may be replaced with artificial intelligence in the next few years.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Krishna stated that approximately 26,000 non-customer-facing roles could be at risk of being replaced, and that he could see up to 30% of those roles being replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period, resulting in the potential loss of around 7,800 jobs.

Krishna also noted that more routine tasks such as employment verification letters and employee transfers between departments will likely be fully automated. However, some corporate functions such as workforce evaluation may not be replaced by AI for the time being he added.

While AI tools have been praised for their ability to automate tasks, particularly in administrative functions, there have been concerns about the potential disruption they could cause to the labor market. Krishna’s announcement is from one of the largest companies in response to the increasing prevalence of AI in the workplace.

Despite this announcement, Krishna stated that IBM will continue to hire for software development and customer-facing roles. While the company has announced job cuts earlier this year, which could result in approximately 5,000 job losses once completed, IBM has overall added around 7,000 people to its workforce in the first quarter, according to Krishna.

Related Story: Biden Admin Announces Proposal for Potential AI Regulations

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