Paytm lays off 1000 staff after Elon Musk’s warning of AI taking jobs

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The digital portal said that Paytm laid off the employees by implementing AI technology. The Noida-based company claimed that AI made such jobs unnecessary.



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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, December 25: Billionnaire Elon Musk had only last month warned that artificial intelligence will begin shedding jobs. In an AI safety summit with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Musk had warned that “there will come a point where no job is needed”.

As if taking cues from the claims made by Musk in November this year, India’s Fintech Paytm announced laying off 1000 employees by claiming that their jobs have been automated with artificial intelligence. A report by Resume Builder had recently claimed that 2024 would see the major impact of the artificial intelligence with job losses in India.

Musk had remarked: “I think we are seeing the most disruptive force in history.” He claimed that the AI will prove “for the first time that machine is smarter than the smartest human”. Moneycontrol on Monday reported that “Fintech major Paytm has laid off over 1000 employees from its operations, sales and engineering team”. The digital portal said that Paytm laid off the employees by implementing AI technology. The Noida-based company claimed that AI made such jobs unnecessary. It also told Moneycontrol that the company would be saving “10-15% in employee costs as AI has delivered more than we expected”.

CNBC in a report while quoting from Resume Builder had said that 37% of the industry leaders in a survey had admitted that technology replaced workers in 2023 while 44% reported likelihood of more layoffs in 2024 due to AI.

Forbes in a report quoted from the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020, saying that almost 85 million jobs may be impacted by AI in the world. It claimed that the division of labour between humans and machines could also help create 97 million new roles for humans, machines and algorithms.

On the firing line are the employees tasked with works such as data analysis and pricessing, as well as works which are clerical in nature. Recently, the advent of ChatGPT showed that AI is now also doing creating works such as writing news reports and even making a presentation for the research papers. Several of the American schools and Universities have banned the use of ChatGPT on the campuses.

But with Paytm starting a fresh wave of laying off employees, the industry experts claim that this could just be a beginning of more pain next year. It may also be recalled that Indian startups have been laying off employees in a big way. Paytm is also known as a Fintech startup. In the first two quarters of the current financial year, the startups are reported to have laid off not less than 28,000 employees.

The AI-led job losses may ring alarm bells among the policy makers. The CMIE had said recently that unemployment in India rose to two years high of 10.05 per cent in October this year. The Azim Preemji University in a report had recently said that India is now accounting for almost 42 per cent unemployment among fresh graduates.   





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