The CEO of an Indian firm is facing criticism after announcing on Twitter that his company had replaced 90% of its support staff with an AI chatbot. Suumit Shah, the founder of Dukaan, defended the decision, stating that the chatbot had significantly improved response and resolution times for customer queries. However, the tweet sparked outrage online, especially amid concerns about AI’s impact on job loss in the services industry.
In a series of tweets that garnered over a million views, Mr. Shah explained the rationale behind implementing the chatbot. He acknowledged that laying off staff had been difficult but deemed necessary, as many startups prioritize profitability in the current economic climate. Mr. Shah expressed that customer support had long been a challenge for the company, and implementing the chatbot was an attempt to address this issue. He detailed the development of the bot and the AI platform, emphasizing its speed and accuracy in handling various queries.
However, many Twitter users criticized Mr. Shah’s tweets, accusing him of disregarding the impact on his staff’s lives with this decision. Some questioned the assistance provided to the laid-off employees. Mr. Shah responded to one tweet, suggesting he would share information about the staff’s assistance on LinkedIn, as Twitter users appeared more focused on profitability than sympathy.
The incident highlights the concerns surrounding AI’s potential to replace human jobs. The accessibility and proliferation of generative AI tools like ChatGPT have raised fears among workers about job security. Reports, such as one from Goldman Sachs in March, have indicated that AI could replace many full-time jobs. In India, several companies are investing in AI, raising concerns about potential job losses in the country.