The Latest in Layoff Algorithms: So Severe It’s Nearly Human
We’ve all felt the sting of getting laid off, but what if it wasn’t your employer making the decision, but a sinister algorithm? In the age of AI, algorithms have become increasingly advanced and reliable for making decisions, and now it seems those code lines are making layoffs, too.
The Washington Post recently published a piece on this topic and it’s eye-opening. According to the article, in the last year or two alone, technology companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, Verizon, and many others have begun developing and using algorithm-based layoffs. They use sophisticated software, presumably to automate the process of layoff decisions.
The idea behind this is simple: it takes the guesswork out of layoffs. Companies don’t want to make the wrong decisions, so instead of relying on intuition, they turn to complex algorithms to help them make the right ones. They can use the data they have to determine which employees or departments they should let go and even how much severance they should receive.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s now becoming more and more advanced. The Post article cites a source who said that some companies are using AI so sophisticated that it “feels almost like a human being.” Yikes.
If you thought being laid off was tough when it was done by your company, imagine a cold-hearted algorithm deciding your fate. It’s a scary thought, and one that many people are struggling with as this technology continues to progress.
For now, it looks like algorithms are here to stay, but hopefully companies continue to keep the human touch in the mix. After all, the last thing anyone wants is for the job market to become entirely automated.