Klarna Claims That Their AI Assistant Has Effectively Replaced 700 Employees

By Consultants Review Team Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Will AI replace you in your job? Sure, they might not do it right away, but AI is fully capable of replacing some occupations. The Swedish financial technology startup Klarna has declared the achievement of a major automation milestone. The labor comparable to 700 full-time employees has been essentially taken over by an AI helper, according to the revelation. This information was made public about a year after the business was criticized for terminating roughly the same amount of employees.

According to a report, Klarna boasted in a statement on Tuesday about the effectiveness of their AI helper, saying it can do jobs that 700 human agents could not. But this claim has raised some concerns, especially among people who remember the large-scale layoffs that happened in the middle of 2022, which accounted for around 10% of the company's personnel.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the CEO of Klarna, explained the layoffs at the time by citing inflation worries, an impending recession, and economic uncertainty. His handling of the matter, meanwhile, received criticism—most notably when he made a spreadsheet publicly available on LinkedIn that listed the names of several laid-off workers. In response to a question from Fast Company on the process used to determine the AI assistant's productivity in terms of people, Klarna made it clear that this number had nothing to do with the prior layoffs.

The company's customer service activities are reportedly backed by many sizable third-party organizations that employ more than 650,000 people in total. Klarna also noted that clients are still able to communicate with live operators if they so want. Klarna stressed in their statement that "drawing that conclusion would be incorrect and that this is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022."

Although using chatbots and other AI technologies for customer support jobs is not new, future developments in the field are anticipated to make these systems even more flexible.The news from Klarna highlights the continuous change in how companies deal with consumer relations and sparks debate about the wider effects of automation and artificial intelligence on jobs and society at large.

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