ua en ru

Google axes hundreds as AI replaces employees

Google axes hundreds as AI replaces employees Google axes hundreds as AI replaces employees (Getty Images)

Alphabet, Google's parent company, is undergoing organizational changes, involving layoffs across various teams, including digital assistant, hardware, and engineering departments. The tech giant aims to cut costs by reducing its workforce, according to Reuters and Bloomberg.

Specifically, Google is cutting jobs in its Voice Assistant unit, the hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit, and the augmented reality (AR) team. The majority of the layoffs are expected in the AR team. Additionally, roles in the central engineering team, as well as unspecified positions in other areas, are also being impacted.

The decision to let go of employees follows Google's acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1 billion in 2021. Despite this acquisition, Google has continued to develop and release new versions of its Pixel Watch, directly competing with Fitbit's devices and the Apple Watch.

A Google spokesperson says that the organizational changes, which include role eliminations, are part of an ongoing effort to enhance efficiency. “Throughout the second half of 2023, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities,” he said.

The spokesperson did not disclose the exact number of jobs affected, and it remains unclear how many employees are part of the Google Assistant software and other teams facing restructuring.

AI replaces work labor

This move comes amid a broader trend in the tech industry, where companies like Microsoft and Google are increasingly investing in generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Google had previously announced plans to incorporate generative AI capabilities into its virtual assistant to improve functionalities such as trip planning and email management.

In January 2023, Alphabet revealed plans to cut 12,000 jobs, constituting approximately 6% of its global workforce. As of September 2023, Alphabet had a total of 182,381 employees worldwide.

Google also aims to implement AI to boost its search capacities. The technology is called Search Generative Experience (SGE), and it is expected to revolutionize how users search for information.