May 3, 2023 - Business

IBM pauses hiring on some roles it believes AI could replace

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna. Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tech giant IBM, which has a large office in Research Triangle Park and owns Raleigh-based Red Hat, is pausing hiring on jobs it believes could be replaced by artificial intelligence, the company's chief executive told Bloomberg this week.

Driving the news: CEO Arvind Krishna told Bloomberg that he expects the company to slow hiring for many back-office functions, like human resources, that aren't customer-facing roles.

  • "I could easily see 30% of that getting replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period," he told the business news site.
  • That could potentially impact around 7,800 jobs, according to Bloomberg, and the reductions could happen via not filling empty roles.

Why it matters: Companies across all industries are trying to determine how fast-advancing AI technologies, like ChatGPT, could affect them.

  • IBM, which employs hundreds of thousands of people around the world, would be one of the biggest companies to announce a workforce strategy in response to AI.

State of play: Many tech companies are already looking for ways to cut costs.

  • IBM announced job cuts earlier this year that could reach 5,000 total positions and Red Hat said last week it is cutting 4% of its jobs.

What they're saying: "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," IBM spokesperson Tim Davidson told Axios in a statement. "We are actively hiring for thousands of positions right now."

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