“Difficult changes.” “Challenging time.” “Tough choices.”
Big Tech companies’ recent layoff announcements and earnings calls have had these familiar buzzwords in common, but many of them have also shared an overarching vision: That AI advancement is the future, and it’s time to shift more focus and funding toward machine learning projects.
- So far this year, 270+ tech companies have reportedly laid off more than 86,000 workers, which includes headcount reductions of about 12,000 at Alphabet, 10,000 at Microsoft, and 8,000 at Amazon, according to industry tracker Layoffs.fyi.
- In November, Meta announced it would lay off 11,000 of its staff. These announcements follow nearly 160,000 layoffs of tech workers in 2022, per Layoffs.fyi.
Three of the most influential tech companies—Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta—have said that, in part, they’re using the period of retrenchment to try and elevate their in-house AI projects.
- This quarter’s tech earnings calls resulted in tech execs using the terms AI, generative AI, and machine learning “two to six times as often as they did in the previous quarter,” according to a Reuters analysis.
Big picture: The aim is to potentially better position themselves to compete in a landscape where generative AI, a sector that raised $1.4 billion last year according to Pitchbook data, has quickly sparked widespread interest and adoption across industries. OpenAI’s ChatGPT recently became the fastest-growing consumer application ever recorded, according to a UBS study, netting ~100 million monthly active users in two months. Read the full story on the rise of AI.