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Thread: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

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    Default Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    New York/LondonCNN —
    Microsoft plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of broader cost-cutting measures, the company said in a securities filing on Wednesday, making it the latest tech company to reduce staff because of growing economic uncertainty.
    Speaking before the layoff announcement at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company was not immune to a weaker global economy.
    “No one can defy gravity and gravity here is inflation-adjusted economic growth,” he told WEF founder Klaus Schwab in a livestreamed discussion.

    Microsoft will announce second quarter earnings on January 24. The software company’s Azure cloud computing business drove revenue growth over the three months through September, as sales in its personal computing division decreased slightly.
    Even as Microsoft makes significant cuts, Nadella said the company will continue to invest in “strategic areas for our future” and pointed to advances in AI as “the next major wave” of computing. His letter to employees comes amid rumors of a significant investment from Microsoft into OpenAI, the firm behind the AI chatbot, ChatGPT.

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/18/tech/...ffs/index.html
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    The night before the layoff announcement, MS hosted a private concert by Sting, singing songs of love and peace.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    They hired like 40k last year, and are realizing they over shot what they needed.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    220K employees, give or take. I guess it's take, so 210K employees. Bad for them personally, but from a company perspective, meh.

    Pete
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    The night before the layoff announcement, MS hosted a private concert by Sting, singing songs of love and peace.
    I’d prefer the layoff to having to listen to Sting.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Id prefer the layoff to having to listen to Sting.
    Hmm... What don't you like about Sting? That's one smart guy who writes some intelligent lyrics and music with like actual chords and harmonies and key changes--not like 3-chord classic rock, or today's Autotune pop that has no harmonic motion whatsoever.

    Good stuff, especially if you like your pop tinged with jazz, with some killer good musicians in the band.



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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Sting tries to pretend he’s a classical musician and it doesn’t work. I know a lot of people like him. Just something about him irritates me.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    220K employees, give or take. I guess it's take, so 210K employees. Bad for them personally, but from a company perspective, meh.

    Pete
    220K? what on earth do they all do?

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    May I suggest DuckDuckGo as your search engine. I've used it for a long time.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    No thought on the 10,000 were replaced by an investment of 10 billion in AI? The tech sector level of of investment of AI and machine learning - hundreds of thousands of tech sector workers are facing and undergoing layoffs going into a soft non recession could very well change many things. many of these folks are on H1 visas and may have to return back to their countries. Simple things like Tesla car sales will lag as well a real estate transactions. The trickle down effect on goods and services supporting these folks will be clearly affect the general state of the economy.

    things could be lining up for a black swan event with a red hat clogged congress and lack of political leadership.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 01-20-2023 at 12:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvida View Post
    They hired like 40k last year, and are realizing they over shot what they needed.
    Sometimes you hire a lot of people in an attempt to find a subgroup that is productive. Or simply to get their best idea. A lot of workers are surplus and businesses are finding that out.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Sting tries to pretend he’s a classical musician and it doesn’t work. I know a lot of people like him. Just something about him irritates me.
    I don’t know about classical pretensions but Sting does come to pop/rock from a jazz background.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    No thought on the 10,000 were replaced by an investment of 10 billion in AI? The tech sector level of of investment of AI and machine learning - hundreds of thousands of tech sector workers are facing and undergoing.
    It's a disruptive technology, there will be winners and losers just like every other time.
    Where is Kodak, with the emergence of digital photography? Where would huge chunks of that tech sector be without it - the www without pictures would be totally lame.
    If I was an accountant or lawyer, in fact anyone engaged in a similar rules-based procedural job - I can see AI chewing those roles up in bulk.
    But the unlucky 10000 haven't been replaced by AI, just by an investment to develop the capability - that's not even the thin end of the wedge, just a harbinger of things to come.

    Pete
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    We are making ourselves redundant, But microsoft management will not be immune either, shortly ……………….

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    It's a disruptive technology, there will be winners and losers just like every other time.
    Where is Kodak, with the emergence of digital photography? Where would huge chunks of that tech sector be without it - the www without pictures would be totally lame.
    If I was an accountant or lawyer, in fact anyone engaged in a similar rules-based procedural job - I can see AI chewing those roles up in bulk.
    But the unlucky 10000 haven't been replaced by AI, just by an investment to develop the capability - that's not even the thin end of the wedge, just a harbinger of things to come.

    Pete
    I added a similar sentiment to the thread about ChatGPT a few days ago.I believe it is the logical path to follow,but it won't be fun for those displaced.It isn't the first time a new technology has been disruptive,has anybody seen a typwriter repair technician lately?

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    When companies began to outsource services overseas, I have heard of people asked to train their replacements, as their last act before being laid off.

    Can you imagine being replaced by the AI you helped program?

    A friend of mine is a typewriter technician. He mostly renovates houses now, but if you are in the market for a good used typewriter, he can probably help you out.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I added a similar sentiment to the thread about ChatGPT a few days ago.I believe it is the logical path to follow...
    I guess it depends on what "logical" means.

    It seems to me that humans generally rush to new technologies without much thought at all, having accepted the untested assumption that we must keep moving "forward."

    Must we? To what end?

    Must we stand by and say "Yes, it will be bad for thousands--or millions, or billions--of people, but we must accept the new reality."

    Cui bono? And what costs accompany the benefits? And are those benefits outweighed by the costs?

    We are rarely intentional about the decisions we make about the use of technology. Why not?

    "Disruptive" really means that AI is going to profoundly affect what it means to be human behind a bit of MBA-speak designed to hide the fact that "disruptive" inevitably means "destructive"--destructive of things we once regarded as important, and are now rushing to throw away. Things like jobs. Like thinking. Like writing.

    HAL is taking over, and many of us are cheering him on.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    It seems to me that humans generally rush to new technologies without much thought at all, having accepted the untested assumption that we must keep moving "forward."

    Must we? To what end?

    Must we stand by and say "Yes, it will be bad for thousands--or millions, or billions--of people, but we must accept the new reality."
    One can get lost in the weeds arguing which technology is worth pursuing.

    Life is already pretty bad for billions. Certainly bad enough that most in the US would not prefer it for themselves. But many of those billions are alive because of technology. They may prefer being alive to the alternative.

    It is really hard to know if technology is good or bad. We lack common metrics to evaluate if to have lived is better than not to have lived.

    The choice of moving forward or not is not mine or yours. If someone wants to move forward, we will all move forward. For the better or the worse.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I guess it depends on what "logical" means.

    It seems to me that humans generally rush to new technologies without much thought at all, having accepted the untested assumption that we must keep moving "forward."

    Must we? To what end?

    Must we stand by and say "Yes, it will be bad for thousands--or millions, or billions--of people, but we must accept the new reality."

    Cui bono? And what costs accompany the benefits? And are those benefits outweighed by the costs?

    We are rarely intentional about the decisions we make about the use of technology. Why not?

    "Disruptive" really means that AI is going to profoundly affect what it means to be human behind a bit of MBA-speak designed to hide the fact that "disruptive" inevitably means "destructive"--destructive of things we once regarded as important, and are now rushing to throw away. Things like jobs. Like thinking. Like writing.

    HAL is taking over, and many of us are cheering him on.

    Tom
    Every disruptive technology has destroyed jobs and lifestyles - and created new opportunities.
    The steam engine, the motor car, jet airliners, electronics, the electrification of vehicle fleet now in progress, the internet - and now probably AI.
    The global human population has grown to where it is partly on the back of those and more, so when we say it's bad for millions.....
    There's a whole 'nuther argument about whether that many people is a good thing.
    One consequence - the MIL doesn't have, never has had, a cell phone, internet connection, a PC/tablet, or email. NZ no longer has cheques - they went the way of the dodo some time ago.
    She is now unable to pay bills herself, not because the money isn't there, but because she's never engaged with technology and has literally been left behind. Her kids have to do all that for her.
    I don't think it's so much cheering HAL on, it's more trying to stay on top of this stuff enough to remain functional in contemporary society.
    Remember when email was for nerds, and just a couple of years later people gave you the side-eye if you didn't have email, and a couple of years after that it was an asterisked mandatory field when trying to sign up for pretty much anything?
    Just like you won't find a hitching rail and water trough outside your local bricks and mortar store - unless you're in an Amish town where horses are still the norm.

    Pete
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I guess it depends on what "logical" means.

    It seems to me that humans generally rush to new technologies without much thought at all, having accepted the untested assumption that we must keep moving "forward."

    Must we? To what end?

    Must we stand by and say "Yes, it will be bad for thousands--or millions, or billions--of people, but we must accept the new reality."

    Cui bono? And what costs accompany the benefits? And are those benefits outweighed by the costs?

    We are rarely intentional about the decisions we make about the use of technology. Why not?

    "Disruptive" really means that AI is going to profoundly affect what it means to be human behind a bit of MBA-speak designed to hide the fact that "disruptive" inevitably means "destructive"--destructive of things we once regarded as important, and are now rushing to throw away. Things like jobs. Like thinking. Like writing.

    HAL is taking over, and many of us are cheering him on.

    Tom
    There are a number of facets to deal with in this kind of evolution.No doubt there will be an amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth because of the numbers who no longer need to attend a place of work so that they may carry out a function that a machine can do.Looked at from the other end,it frees people from the drudgery of having to perform a task that a machine can do.We no longer have pitsaw manipulators and I doubt they miss the toil and the world of agriculture has seen huge reductions in the number of people toiling in the fields.

    It is the case in this country that the board of a company is composed of people with the duty of acting in a company's best interests.In the case of a not for profit that is intended to provide an occupation for it's regular attenders,an exception might exist in theory,the problem comes with raising the funds to preserve the illusion that it is a useful enterprise.It goes without saying that in a commercial environment a profit is the target and indeed has to be ,if the money is to be there when the next gamechanging technology comes along.I can't remember the precise words he used but a long time ago Horace Dodge stated that " if the fellow down the road has a better machine than you,you'll be paying one way or another".This is just the latest manifestation of his message.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    There are a number of facets to deal with in this kind of evolution.No doubt there will be an amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth because of the numbers who no longer need to attend a place of work so that they may carry out a function that a machine can do.Looked at from the other end,it frees people from the drudgery of having to perform a task that a machine can do.We no longer have pitsaw manipulators and I doubt they miss the toil and the world of agriculture has seen huge reductions in the number of people toiling in the fields.

    It is the case in this country that the board of a company is composed of people with the duty of acting in a company's best interests.In the case of a not for profit that is intended to provide an occupation for it's regular attenders,an exception might exist in theory,the problem comes with raising the funds to preserve the illusion that it is a useful enterprise.It goes without saying that in a commercial environment a profit is the target and indeed has to be ,if the money is to be there when the next gamechanging technology comes along.I can't remember the precise words he used but a long time ago Horace Dodge stated that " if the fellow down the road has a better machine than you,you'll be paying one way or another".This is just the latest manifestation of his message.
    John,

    that's a thoughtful reply with much to agree with, no doubt. But to me, the essential difference lies in that bolded bit.

    If we accept the notion that technology is good because it frees people from the drudgery of tasks that machines can do...

    Then what do we do when machines, like AI, continue to take on jobs that do NOT involve drudgery? Jobs like writing stories, creating art, creating literature, composing music, etc.?

    We're well past the issue of machines like pitsaws and rock drills taking the place of hand labor. We're now looking at AI poised to take over what, until now, have always been essentially human pursuits. Not only tasks that humans have always traditionally done, but tasks that--arguably--are an important part of what MAKES us human. Tasks that shape, define, and reflect out culture.

    Is it really something to celebrate that we'll no longer have Beethovens and Picassos and Yeats's engaging in the "drudgery" that AI has freed them from? I don't think so...

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 01-22-2023 at 02:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    Every disruptive technology has destroyed jobs and lifestyles - and created new opportunities.
    The steam engine, the motor car, jet airliners, electronics, the electrification of vehicle fleet now in progress, the internet - and now probably AI.
    The global human population has grown to where it is partly on the back of those and more, so when we say it's bad for millions.....
    There's a whole 'nuther argument about whether that many people is a good thing.
    One consequence - the MIL doesn't have, never has had, a cell phone, internet connection, a PC/tablet, or email. NZ no longer has cheques - they went the way of the dodo some time ago.
    She is now unable to pay bills herself, not because the money isn't there, but because she's never engaged with technology and has literally been left behind. Her kids have to do all that for her.
    I don't think it's so much cheering HAL on, it's more trying to stay on top of this stuff enough to remain functional in contemporary society.
    Remember when email was for nerds, and just a couple of years later people gave you the side-eye if you didn't have email, and a couple of years after that it was an asterisked mandatory field when trying to sign up for pretty much anything?
    Just like you won't find a hitching rail and water trough outside your local bricks and mortar store - unless you're in an Amish town where horses are still the norm.

    Pete
    I don't disagree, but the development of AI is another dimension entirely from the issues you describe. I'm not talking about a machine that lets us send messages instantly via networked computers, or a machine that replaces a horse-drawn carriage.

    I'm talking about a machine with the potential to make sending messages to each other entirely irrelevant, along with everything else humans do for themselves right now. There will be very little that humans can do that AI won't be able to do "better" than we can. A machine that knows more, can do more, can do it faster, and better. As we shift the responsibility for virtually everything we now do onto our apps and devices, what will we do with our new "freedom"? And how long before AI is doing that better, too?

    Tom
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Beethoven and Picasso weren't producing their work on an hourly rate,at least as far as I know.Which would mean that endeavour in similar fields can still go on and if the output is better than the machine made equivalent it will be well received.In fact it might be a badge of honour for people to proclaim that their new artwork,furniture,whatever was hand made by artisans.It may have already begun to some extent.What we do know is that the human species has had to adapt before and will have to do so again.

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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I don't disagree, but the development of AI is another dimension entirely from the issues you describe. I'm not talking about a machine that lets us send messages instantly via networked computers, or a machine that replaces a horse-drawn carriage.

    I'm talking about a machine with the potential to make sending messages to each other entirely irrelevant, along with everything else humans do for themselves right now. There will be very little that humans can do that AI won't be able to do "better" than we can. A machine that knows more, can do more, can do it faster, and better. As we shift the responsibility for virtually everything we now do onto our apps and devices, what will we do with our new "freedom"? And how long before AI is doing that better, too?

    Tom
    I guess my point was really that we don't actually know how it will unfold, and what opportunities or unforseen problems it might create. Looking at a crappy bulletin board service way back when, who would have imagined what the www, good and bad, would turn into. There is some obvious stuff with AI, but that probably isn't close to how it will actually evenuate.

    Pete
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    Beethoven and Picasso weren't producing their work on an hourly rate,at least as far as I know.Which would mean that endeavour in similar fields can still go on and if the output is better than the machine made equivalent it will be well received.In fact it might be a badge of honour for people to proclaim that their new artwork,furniture,whatever was hand made by artisans.It may have already begun to some extent.What we do know is that the human species has had to adapt before and will have to do so again.
    Signs are pretty good already that AI will be better than humans. So a publisher will have a choice: Buy some software and let it write your ALL of your books, on deadline, without ever paying royalties, etc. Or pay a human author who probably won't be as good, will need to be paid for every book, and will miss deadlines and fight with editors. Not a hard choice to make for a business, is it?

    And no, humans have never had to adapt to AI before. So the current situation is, arguably, unprecedented.

    And yes, things change. It is inevitable. But it is better to be intentional about whether to change, and how, than to simply accept whatever comes.

    Tom
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    I guess my point was really that we don't actually know how it will unfold, and what opportunities or unforseen problems it might create. Looking at a crappy bulletin board service way back when, who would have imagined what the www, good and bad, would turn into. There is some obvious stuff with AI, but that probably isn't close to how it will actually evenuate.

    Pete
    Lots of science fiction writers imagined it, sometimes with frightening accuracy.

    Internet and its effects on social discourse? Orson Scott Card, Enders Game, 1985.
    Letting machines take on more and more of what humans used to do? Ray Bradbury, "The Veldt," 1950. Disney, WALL-E, 2008.
    Effects on virtual reality and online activity on culture? Surrogates, 2009 film with Bruce Willis.
    And AI specifically? Arthur C. Clark: "2001: A Space Oddyssey" and even moreso: "The Nine Billion Names of God" (1952)--FULL TEXT HERE

    I'd say "The Nine Billion Names of God" really gets at the issue in a beautifully non-literal way. Asking the question: Once humans become irrelevant because everything they do can be done better than AI, what next?

    Tom
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    Default Re: Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees as they lean into AI

    Once humans become irrelevant because everything they do can be done better than AI, what next?
    Maurice Hurley (Star Trek Next Generation) 1989:

    Screen Shot 2023-01-22 at 8.27.48 AM.jpg

    The Wachowskis ( The Matrix) 1999;

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