(The Herald Post) – Recently, OpenAI released a study cautioning that AI language models like ChatGPT could potentially eradicate millions of jobs. The impact of this development is already being experienced not just in the United States but also in Spain. Domestika, an online learning platform, has announced its decision to cut 45% of its staff in Spain, citing the adoption of AI-driven process automation, such as ChatGPT, as the primary reason.
As reported by La Vanguardia, the US-based company is in the process of negotiating a layoff plan (ERE) with its Spanish subsidiary, which employs 198 people. According to Domestika representatives, the downsizing will affect 45% of the workforce, meaning 89 employees of the Dmstk SL subsidiary will lose their jobs.
These layoffs solely impact the training subsidiary, not the other subsidiary specializing in content creation. This distinction is important because Domestika had already let go of 100 employees in Spain last year from both subsidiaries.
The Shift from Human Workforce to Automation.
The primary reason for this decision is the automation of processes through AI: “The current macroeconomic context is causing cutbacks across the technology sector, but we are also directly affected by the process automation of new AI applications, such as ChatGPT.”
The company’s justification is significant since Article 51 of the Workers’ Statute states that layoffs must be justified by economic, technical, organizational, or production reasons. Among these reasons are “changes in the means or instruments of production or […] systems and methods of work for personnel.”
Domestika’s plan involves replacing a small percentage of these employees with AI. Of the 89 people no longer working for Domestika, 22 provided translation services, which will now be handled by machine translation applications. Nine others who previously created marketing content will be replaced by generative AI. However, human oversight will remain, with two people supervising the AI-generated content.
The changing landscape since the pandemic and the economic situation are taking a toll on tech companies. Amazon has undergone several rounds of layoffs in recent months, Google has followed suit with less-than-humane methods, and mass layoffs have reached the European tech sector, with giants like Accenture letting go of 19,000 employees. As AI and automation continue to make their mark, startups like Domestika may be the first of many to face these challenges.