Google, the world's leading technology company, has carried out two large-scale staff cuts in 2023, with a total of 12,000 jobs lost, accounting for 6% of the company's workforce. This is part of Google's restructuring plan to focus on the highest priority areas, including AI.
According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, AI is the key area in Google's future and can create huge opportunities for the company and society. He said Google invested early in AI and will continue to do so in 2024. He also said that Google will have to make tough choices to fully capture the opportunity.
Google's staff cuts took place amid a difficult period for the technology industry, as consumer spending declined due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many other technology companies such as Microsoft, Meta, Amazon and Twitter also laid off thousands to tens of thousands of employees in 2023.
Experts predict that the artificial intelligence industry could be worth more than $2 trillion by 2032. Google is one of the leaders in this field, with many products and services using AI, such as Google Assistant, Google Photos, Google Translate, Google Search and Google Cloud. Google also has many AI research projects, such as Google Brain, Google AI Quantum and Google DeepMind.
However, Google also faces many challenges and controversies related to AI, such as security, privacy, ethics, fairness and social responsibility. Google was criticized for firing two prominent AI researchers, Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, because they opposed the company's policy on AI. Google was also sued for violating Oracle's Java software copyright when using it in the Android operating system, one of the important platforms for AI.
Google will have to find a way to balance between cutting costs, increasing efficiency and innovation, while ensuring that their AI will benefit the company and society, without causing negative consequences.