Getting fired by an artificial intelligence is the incredible story that happened to 60 Facebook employees in the United States. As reported by Daily Mail, on August 18, an algorithm decided that the tech giant no longer needed 60 contract workers who worked to moderate Facebook at its service provider Accenture, located in Austin, United States. The unfortunate employees learned the bad news by videoconference.
When the latter asked for more details as to the reasons which led Facebook to separate from them, the human resources managers simply explained to them that they had been selected “randomly” by an algorithm. A stand-alone computer program designed to reduce costs. The downsizing plan only concerns Accenture teams working on Facebook in Austin, in the social network’s Texas premises. They were working on mediation and audience monetization.
This workforce reduction plan took place a month and a half after the recent declarations of Mark Zuckerberg during the last presentation of the results of Meta. After announcing disappointing financial figures, the boss of the social network explained that he wanted to put in place tools to optimize his teams and separate, more or less quickly, employees “no longer having their place” in the group.
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Algorithms invite themselves into human resources, including in France
This is not the first time that artificial intelligence (AI) has been the cause of the dismissal of employees in the United States. RMC thus echoes on September 7, another technology company, Xsolla, which recently cut 150 jobs, still using an AI. But this time nothing was due to chance: this computer program had analyzed the content of employees’ emails, their attendance rate, their activity, the documents on which they were working, and on this basis had determined profiles “not committed enough and unproductive”.
In France, the Labor Code protects employees and strictly regulates dismissal, with a mandatory preliminary interview, in the presence of a natural person who represents the employer. Nevertheless, performance analysis software can very well guide the decision of a human HRD.
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