Microsoft bets on AI but cuts posts dedicated to AI

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Among the 10,000 layoffs announced at Microsoft at the beginning of the year, the “Ethics and Society” team dedicated to the development of responsible artificial intelligence tools has apparently been affected. Although the group wants to make AI one of its next spearheads.

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The beginning of the year 2023 was a carnage in the world of technology: all the big groups have said goodbye with tens of thousands of job cuts, from Microsoft to Google to Amazon, Meta or Twitter. No one has really been spared from the post-Covid crisis.

For its part, the Redmond firm has parted ways with 10,000 people. And according to the site platforms – transmitted by the edge –, one of the teams dedicated to the development of artificial intelligence within the group would have been greatly affected by this wave of departures, to the point of being completely removed.

a paradoxical situation

Called “Ethics and Society”, this pole was in charge of creating AI tools in a responsible manner and ensuring that these tools correspond to and respect the moral principles of the company. Such a service may prove essential even as conversational AI is increasingly placed in the hands of the general public.

And here’s what may be particularly challenging here: Microsoft has jumped headlong into AI with ChatGPT integration within Bing and a $10 billion investment in the field, but further reduced the wing within its teams. . A finding that, therefore, may seem paradoxical.

The new Bing // Source: Microsoft

However, it is worth noting another Microsoft center dedicated to AI: the “Responsible AI Office”, which is none other than an office in charge of the development of artificial intelligence in the company. This entity in particular creates rules that govern the company’s AI initiatives, explains the edge.

overall restructuring

It is difficult to explain here how much the two poles differ in their missions, but the US media explains, for example, that the “Ethics and Society” team had recently been in charge of identifying the risks inherent in integrating ChatGPT into their tools. . This team consisted of 30 employees in 2020, up from October 7, 2022.

More generally, the multinational seems to be operating a global restructuring of its services… while sacrificing an ethical pole that seemed essential for the correct development of AI at Microsoft. However, he assures that he continues to join the ranks of his famous “Office of Responsible AI”.

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