**AI Adoption Leads to Mass Layoffs: CEO Replaces Support Team with Chatbots**
Since the launch of ChatGPT, concerns have arisen about the potential for AI to replace human workers and cut costs. While proponents argue that AI will enhance workers’ efficiency rather than replace them, one CEO is proving otherwise. Suumit Shah, founder of Dukaan, an Indian AI app, recently announced on Twitter that he has replaced 90% of his customer support team with chatbots, resulting in increased efficiency and decreased costs.
**Increased Efficiency and Reduced Costs**
Suumit Shah initially described the decision to replace his support team as tough but necessary. However, he soon boasted about the positive results. Response time, which used to take 1 minute 44 seconds, has now become instant. Additionally, the AI assistant has reduced customer support costs by approximately 85%. Shah’s business, Dukaan, aims to prioritize profitability over becoming a unicorn in the current economic climate.
**Mixed Reactions on Twitter**
While Shah celebrated the success of his chatbots, many Twitter users criticized his decision, calling him heartless and tone-deaf. Some users mockingly emulated his post, highlighting the lack of empathy he demonstrated towards the impacted workers. Others expressed concerns about the growing trend of prioritizing profits over human sensitivity in the startup community. Although some users acknowledged the need for companies to increase profits, they cautioned against glorifying layoffs and using AI as a tool for growth.
**Poor Business Practice and Governance**
While defending the role of AI in the workforce, many critics pointed out that Shah’s decision was not solely based on AI capabilities. They argued that his support team was laid off due to the business’s declining situation and lack of funding, rather than solely because of AI. This perspective suggests that poor business practice and governance may have played a significant role in the mass layoffs.
**Looking to Fulfill Other Roles**
To compound the impact on laid-off workers, Shah announced that he is actively seeking to fill roles in other areas of the business, including e-commerce and product design. This announcement further intensified the criticism and frustration directed towards him.
**AI Adoption and Workforce Reductions**
Unfortunately, Shah’s mass layoffs are not an isolated incident. According to IBM, three-quarters of CEOs are eager to adopt AI, with productivity gains being the primary motivation. As a result, 43% of CEOs have already reduced their workforce size. In recent news, over 3,900 workers in the US lost their jobs due to AI implementation. Furthermore, a Goldman Sachs study predicts that AI could displace up to 300 million jobs worldwide in the next decade.
The case of Suumit Shah and his decision to replace his support team with chatbots has sparked controversy. While proponents of AI argue that it can enhance efficiency, critics caution against prioritizing profits over human empathy and well-being. The growing adoption of AI in various industries raises concerns about the potential impact on the global workforce. As the debate continues, it is necessary to strike a balance between the benefits of AI and the preservation of human jobs and livelihoods.