HomeLife StyleGoogle May Lay Off 30,000 Employees as AI Takes Over Ad Sales

Google May Lay Off 30,000 Employees as AI Takes Over Ad Sales

Biggest Tech Giant Google reportedly plans to lay off approximately 30,000 employees in the coming weeks, accounting for about 6% of its global workforce. According to a recent report by The Information, the search engine giant is looking to rely more heavily on artificial intelligence to automate essential business processes and reduce its reliance on human employees.

The planned job cuts will predominantly impact global sales and operations teams supporting Google’s advertising business, which accounts for over 80% of the company’s staggering $283 billion in annual revenue. AI is poised to replace many of the roles humans currently fill in digital advertising sales and optimization.

AI Invasion: The Shrinking Job Market

“AI is one of the most promising ways in which Google can reduce headcount without hurting productivity and profits,” said industry analyst Mark Rutherford. “With advances in machine learning, software can now perform many sales and analytical functions just as well or better than humans, for a fraction of the cost.”

Google’s advertising business is big money – the company booked $209 billion in ad revenue last year alone. But it’s also labour-intensive, requiring thousands of salespeople to strike deals with advertisers as well as staff performing manual optimizations of campaigns. This presents a prime opportunity for automation through AI.

The pending layoffs would be the largest in Google’s 24-year history, dwarfing previous rounds of downsizing. They arrive during economic uncertainty, as fears of a looming recession lead many tech companies to tighten budgets and reduce headcount. However, for Google, the cuts are less about cost savings and more about long-term strategy.

“This is not about trimming expenses during a downturn,” said tech analyst Stacy Chen. “It’s about Google doubling down on AI to drive efficiency and position itself for the future.”

Inside Google, rumblings of impending layoffs have been mounting for months as sceptics question the need for so many sales and marketing staffers in the age of automated ad platforms.

“Many employees saw this coming,” said an anonymous source within the company, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There’s been a growing realization that AI can displace thousands of jobs.”

According to the source, Google’s AI for Ads platform has already started taking over campaign management responsibilities from human employees. Built on Google’s formidable expertise in machine learning and natural language processing, AI for Ads algorithmically optimizes campaign targeting, budgets, creative, bidding and more.

“The writing has been on the wall,” the source said. “AI for Ads has been getting smarter with each new update, taking on more high-level optimization tasks. It’s only a matter of time before more (ad sales) jobs become redundant.”

Industry experts concur, noting that AI-driven automation is reaching maturity across the digital marketing landscape. The software can now analyze huge datasets, identify trends and patterns, and optimize campaigns autonomously. And as artificial intelligence continues advancing exponentially, its commercial applications will only expand.

Tech analyst Simon Ward said, “This is the natural progression of AI in the workplace. Repetitive, analytical, rules-based jobs like digital campaign management are low-hanging fruit. Google is wise to target those roles first.”

Ward said if AI for Ads proves successful in reducing headcount, it could potentially be rolled out across Alphabet’s other business verticals as well, from cloud computing to autonomous vehicles. Other tech companies are likely monitoring Google’s move closely.

However, not everyone believes AI automation will go smoothly. “There are always hiccups with new technology,” warned economist Eleanor Kent. “AI still lacks generalized reasoning abilities. Creative human oversight remains crucial in many roles.”

According to Kent, bandwidth limitations could also slow the pace of automation, as AI adoption at scale requires massive data processing capabilities. However, Google has invested heavily in quantum computing and built most of its own servers and data centres.

While AI promises increased efficiency, critics point out that it also threatens widespread unemployment. A recent study by MIT economists found that increased reliance on machine learning could eliminate up to 90 million jobs across several industries.

“Automation on this scale will upend people’s lives and livelihoods,” Kent said. “Google and other tech companies have a responsibility to ensure displaced employees are taken care of.”

Google stated that laid-off employees will receive severance packages starting at 16 weeks’ salary, plus two additional weeks for every year served. But psychologist Stacy Lee believes the company should go further.

“Losing a job triggers deep anxiety even in the best circumstances,” Lee said. “Google must have counselling and career transition support available. This is vital for mental health.”

Final Words

As global tech giants accelerate their AI adoption, the coming age of automation is sure to bring both promise and peril. While workplaces will become more efficient, millions of workers worldwide will need assistance adapting to the new AI-driven economy.

Treading this transition carefully and humanely will be crucial. “The rise of artificial intelligence is inevitable,” said Kent. “But we must shape AI to benefit people, not just profits.”

We are a team of few Literature and Technology lovers.


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