Arvind Krishna, chairman and CEO of IBM, has said that generative AI and huge language models have the potential to increase organizational efficiency, which will have an impact on white-collar occupations. Krishna stressed that in an exclusive interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia,” AI technologies have the potential to streamline operations in a variety of industries, allowing businesses to produce the same amount of work with fewer workers.

IBM CEO says A.I. replacing white-collar jobs could be 'good thing' |  FortuneKrishna pointed out that “back-office” or “white-collar” occupations will be the first to be impacted by AI. He emphasized a demographic change known as “a disinflation in the demographics” that is characterized by a decrease in the working-age population. He emphasized the significance of increasing productivity as the key strategy to buck this trend and retain quality of life.

Many businesses are working on the creation of large-language models as a result of the spike in demand for AI-powered chatbots, as demonstrated by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. For many years, IBM, a well-known leader in the AI industry, has made investments in AI technology.

In IBM’s history of AI, the supercomputer Watson was created between 2004 and 2011. This endeavor came at the same time as the company made a strategic transition away from the computer hardware industry, especially after selling its personal computer division to Lenovo in 2005.

IBM unveiled WatsonX in May, a platform for constructing AI that enables users to build, train, and use machine learning models. This action came after Watson Health, IBM’s data and analytics division, was sold a few months earlier.

Krishna clarified IBM’s strategy for integrating AI into its workforce, noting that the business had made preparations to halt hiring for positions that AI might someday fill. This choice affected about 7,800 employment in fields like human resources that are amenable to automation and AI. Krishna underlined that this activity should be seen as augmenting rather than replacing human coworkers, using digital labor and AI bots.

In keeping with earlier predictions he made in a May interview with CNBC, he maintained the opinion that AI will create more jobs than it will eliminate. Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, reiterated this stance in June, saying that while AI may disrupt labor markets, it won’t completely replace jobs. He emphasized technology’s potential to increase human productivity and open up new work prospects.

Krishna has continually prioritized AI and hybrid cloud technologies as major drivers for the company’s growth. He started as IBM’s CEO in April 2020 and rose to the position of Chairman in January 2021.

Krishna emphasized the importance of AI in a number of organizational aspects, including IT operations, automation, customer service, and HR enhancement, during IBM’s second-quarter earnings call in July. Notably, IBM’s software business saw the fastest growth in data and AI products throughout the quarter, highlighting the firm’s continuous dedication to AI innovation.

Krishna also talked on the efficiency benefits made possible by large-language models, emphasizing how inexpensively they may produce tailored models for particular tasks. The low level of human input needed to create these models is credited with the cost decrease, marking a turning point in the commercialization and application of AI technologies.


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