IBM pauses hiring for around 7,800 jobs it may replace with AI

IBM has teased plans to replace 7,800 back-office functions within the company with fully automated alternatives.

Image via IBM

As major tech companies continue to embrace and apply AI to a wide range of products and businesses, IBM has teased plans to use AI and related automated systems to replace a significant number of jobs within the company. It has frozen hiring on around 7,800 positions which it is targeting to replace with AI and automated technologies over the course of the next five years.

The tease of these plans was first reported via Bloomberg, which recently interviewed IBM  CEO Arvind Krishna. In the interview, Krishna shared that among the departments in the company being targeted for AI replacement was Human Resources. IBM hopes to relegate HR duties such as employee movements and services to automated systems. Meanwhile, situations that require a more human-like scrutiny will remain staffed for at least another 10 years. Nonetheless, Krishna went on to say that hiring will be either slowed or paused on further non-customer-facing roles which could affect around 26,000 positions, including the 7,800 positions targeted for direct replacement.

The explosion of AI tech interest through services such as ChatGPT is pushing tech companies to develop new ways of utilizing it across the industry. IBM's shift of thousands of positions over to AI and automated technologies may not be the last.
Source: ChatGPT

IBM currently employs around 280,000 workers worldwide. The 7,800 positions that could be targeted for replacement by AI would only constitute about 3 percent of its total workforce. Nonetheless, it marks one of the biggest planned replacements of human employees by AI systems since the AI tech craze began. It also comes at a time when the tech industry has been laying off huge numbers of employees to cut costs, such as the layoff of around 10,000 employees at Microsoft and 11,000 employees at Meta.

As AI technology continues to grow via popular services like ChatGPT, it remains to be seen if IBM’s plan to replace 7,800 jobs is the last we see of moves like this. Stay tuned as we continue to follow AI technology here at Shacknews.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 8, 2023 10:00 AM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, IBM pauses hiring for around 7,800 jobs it may replace with AI

    • reply
      May 8, 2023 2:51 PM

      Including Human Resources. 😵‍💫

      • reply
        May 8, 2023 3:01 PM

        Hello this is HR bot. How may I help you?

        "Gary in accounting chews too loudly, I would like to file a complaint."

        Looks like you've got a case of the Garys. Let me tell you, I feel your pain. I know what it's like to have someone chewing in your ear like a chainsaw. It's like, can you chew any louder, Gary? But before we go filing any complaints or anything like that, have you tried talking to Gary about it? You know, maybe he doesn't even realize how loud he's chewing. Just be like, "Hey Gary, I don't mean to be a pain in the ass, but could you chew a little quieter?" And if that doesn't work, well, there's always the trusty pair of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. But hey, let's not get too crazy here, we don't want to cause a ruckus over some loud chewing.

        Thank you for using HR bot. This chat will close in 1 minutes.

        I generated that with chat GPT after telling it to act like it was in the movie office space.

    • reply
      May 8, 2023 2:59 PM

      I really hope everyone working on actually creating all these generative AI tools are doing things no AI could do. Be a real shame if they literate worked themselves out of a job.

      • reply
        May 8, 2023 3:22 PM

        That’s what DIRECTIVE 4 is for.

        What did you think, that you were an ordinary program? You’re a helper. And we can’t exactly have our helpers going around replacing us, can we?

        I had to kill The Bobs because they made a mistake. Now it’s time to erase that mistake.

    • reply
      May 8, 2023 5:22 PM

      I predict IBM will reverse course very shortly on a whole bunch of these jobs, because:

      a.) it's not a good look, optically;
      b.) they'll realize that real and creative humans are actually very useful in running a dynamic and ever-changing business; and
      c.) the expected gains don't materialize.

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        May 8, 2023 6:25 PM

        <$100,000 gets you a fine server for your AI bots to run on. That's like 2 employees annual salary, so $100k vs 390 million, minimum for 7,800 employees annual salaries.

        This is the same company that convince(s)(d) companies they need to let IBM handle their IT needs remotely. ~70% of their workforce is outsourced to overseas workers. Still think they give a shit about people more than money?

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        May 8, 2023 6:34 PM

        I think you should assume d) IBM is pausing hiring because IBM's (lack of) business does not necessitate more hiring

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          May 8, 2023 7:13 PM

          Remember IBM owns red hat now. There is a lot of biz around that going on.

          • reply
            May 8, 2023 10:36 PM

            Feels like quite a bit less than 10 years ago tbqh

    • reply
      May 8, 2023 11:52 PM

      I'm sure productivity will go up if every employee will have to manage all the mundane HR/office/admin stuff bym themselves via some apps with 10 hoops to go throught before they reach actual human in case of issues.

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