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  • Kyle Chua

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Updated: Dec 19, 2023

A number of human jobs could soon be at risk as some tech giants start leveraging the help of artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

Reuters
Credit: Reuters

International Business Machines Corp (IBM) is one such company, with its CEO Arvind Krishna suggesting in an interview with Bloomberg News that some back-office functions could be replaced by AI in the coming years. Krishna said he sees as much as 30% of the company's non-customer facing roles being automated within a five-year period, specifically mentioning human resources.


The interview comes amid a surge in popularity of generative AI tools, such as OpenAI's viral chatbot, ChatGPT. The natural language processor has seemingly captured the imagination of the public, being capable of writing full-length articles, coding websites and answering questions in a human-like manner. AI has become so popular that industry giants like Microsoft and Google are now investing a lot of resources in developing and improving the emerging tech for a wide range of functions.


IBM is among the world's largest employers, with a workforce of more than 282 thousand as of 2021, according to markets and consumer data insights group Statista. The computer hardware maker, however, in January 2023 cut close to 4,000 jobs. But it did note that those cuts were more of a result of previous sales of its assets instead of weakness in its business.


Krishna also said IBM brought in about 7,000 new employees in the first quarter of the year, though it's now looking to pause hiring.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna. Credit: Getty Images

IBM isn't the only tech giant that could replace humans with AI – or at least considering the idea. According to Insider, online retail juggernaut Amazon's employees are already using ChatGPT to help them code software and create training documents. They also found that the AI chatbot does a "very good job" at answering customer support questions. Meanwhile, Google thinks ChatGPT is capable enough to get hired as an entry-level software engineer, internal documents revealed.


IBM did not respond to Reuters when it requested for a comment.

 
  • IBM CEO Arvind Krishna suggested in an interview that some back-office functions could be replaced by AI in the coming years.

  • Krishna said he sees as much as 30% of the company's non-customer facing roles being automated within a five-year period, specifically mentioning human resources.

  • IBM is among the world's largest employers, with a workforce of more than 282 thousand as of 2021.





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