When economic constraints require it, the digital giants are sometimes forced to reduce their workforce. To avoid having to decide and announce the news themselves, some are turning to AI to establish and execute a redundancy plan.
Artificial intelligence is in the process of disrupt the world of work. Indeed, robots are gradually beginning to replace humans, especially for dangerous, arduous or repetitive tasks. Precisely, the dismissal of employees is one of them. That’s why Facebook let an algorithm do it. Lately, 60 employees made redundant were informed of the bad news by video conference.
What if the AI randomly selects the 60 employees to thank?
The case took place in the United States, in Austin, within the consulting firm Accenture. Remember that the global Accenture group is a reference in the field of management and IT systems consulting. It is in contract with Méta, the parent company of Facebook, and provides it with collaborators in the field of content moderation.
Thus, the redundancy plan only concerned members of Accenture working on the mediation and audience monetization. No details were given as to the selection criteria for these employees. However, Accenture representatives told them thatthey were chosen ” randomly ” through a computer program.
Zuckerberg’s statement in August and dismissal in September 2023: could there be a connection?
Surprisingly, this workforce restructuring plan was put in place some time after the statements of the CEO of Facebook. As a reminder, the announcement was made during the last presentation of the results of Meta. After sharing the dire numbers, Mark Zuckerberg expressed his desire to optimize his teams thanks to the implementation of tools dedicated to this. The idea is to surround yourself with the most committed employees and separate from less productive.
Amazon and Tesla also used AI to lay off employees
Facebook isn’t the first tech company to use artificial intelligence for its layoffs. Last year, Amazon automated the dismissal of its delivery people via an application. In concrete terms, Amazon deliverers are systematically graded on their performance. In the event of a bad rating, the delivery person can no longer access his account and sees himself automatically thanked by email.
We can also cite Xsolla, which separated from 150 employees using an algorithm. To do this, the artificial intelligence took care to analyze the activities, the content of the emails as well as the attendance rates of each employee. It highlighted the least invested and least productive employees. In addition to Amazon and Xsolla, Tesla has also seen fit to reduce its workforce by 10% by laying off 229 employees. The layoffs mainly concerned employees who are members of the Autopilot team in San Mateo (California).
Unlike the American context, dismissal in France is still highly regulated. The French Labor Code makes it a point of honor to protect employees by requiring a preliminary interview with the person representing the employer.