Domestika joins the long and ever-growing list of technology companies that have decided to snip their staff. In his case, yes, with a special background. The company has decided to do without 89 employees in Spain alleging economic, organizational and production reasons, but in the equation generative artificial intelligences (AI), such as ChatGPT, would have a relevant weight: at least a part of the laid-off workers will see how the tasks they performed up to now will become automated Thanks to these tools. Or at least that is the idea that the company maintains.
The news has been advanced by La Vanguardia, which ensures that the US company specializing in online training is negotiating an ERE with its Madrid subsidiary, Dmstk SL, which will affect 89 workers. The firm employs 198 people, with which the “snip” would be considerable: almost 45% of the workforce would suffer it. The cut would not reach the subsidiary dedicated to the production of content, which last year was already affected – along with the training one – by a staff adjustment that resulted in approximately a hundred layoffs.
The representatives of the workers assure that the AI has played a key role: “The current macroeconomic context is causing cuts in the entire technology sector, but we are also directly affected by the automation of processes of new AI applications, such as ChatGPT.”
The (other) impact of AI
The law is quite clear when addressing the figure of the ERE and establishes that dismissals must be justified by certain causes —defined in article 51 of the Workers’ Statute—, mainly of an economic, technical, organizational or production nature. Among the reasons are cited “changes in the means or instruments of production or […] systems and methods of work of the personnel”.
At least part of the employees who will lose their jobs at Domestika would be affected by the development of new AI resources. La Vanguardia specifically cites 22 employees of the translation service, a task that will be assumed by automatic apps, and 9 dedicated to the creation of marketing content that carry out tasks that will also begin to be assumed by a generative artificial intelligence. Another 2 people would see their situation improve by going on to supervise material.
The decision is actually little surprising.
Recently OpenAI itself, developer of ChatGPT, prepared a report in which it assessed the impact its chatbots and Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) models could have on the labor market. Their analyzes focused on the US, but they left relevant conclusions: close to 80% of the country’s workforce was likely to see at least 10% of their work tasks affected by GTPT.
It’s more, about 19% of workers could find that AI was influencing at least half of their roles in one way or another. The jobs with the most assets of being exposed are also those with the highest pay.
The cut also comes after other companies in the technology sector, including BigTech, have announced significant adjustments in recent months. And for example, a button: Meta will do without 10,000 people, which is added to the announcement of 11,000 layoffs launched in November; Google has shed 12,000 employees, Microsoft 10,000, Salesforce 8,000 and Amazon faces a similar path after announcing a notable cut months ago.
Top image: Arlington Research (Unsplash)
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