Sixty Accenture employees working for Facebook have been fired by an Artificial Intelligence, the consulting firm has learned.
The thing is rare enough to be highlighted, but paradoxically reflects a deep malaise: Facebook has relied on an artificial intelligence to organize a redundancy plan. As reported by the British newspaper Daily Mail60 consultants from the company Accenture, working full time for the social network, were notified of their dismissal by video conference, after being designated by an algorithm.
The parent company of Facebook under fire
At the moment, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, did not want to reveal the details of this process, thus avoiding to justify itself on the selection criteria that were retained by the artificial intelligence to select these unfortunate people. Facebook's human resources simply confirmed that the employees were indeed "selected at random". "randomly selected.
This way of doing things seems to go hand in hand with the speech given by Mark Zuckerberg a few weeks ago, at the time of the presentation of Meta's disappointing financial results. The entrepreneur had mentioned his desire to put in place tools that would allow him to quickly separate from employees "who no longer fit in within the group. It is clear that he succeeded in his bet despite a logically questionable ethical or moral choice.
Algorithms are invading human resources, including in France
However, this is not the first time thatan artificial intelligence (AI) has been at the origin of a social plan in the United States. On September 7th, the radio station RMC radio station talked about another technology company, Xsolla, with similar methods. The latter recently cut 150 jobs, again using an AI. But this time nothing random: the algorithm had analyzed the content of employees' emails, their attendance rate, their activity, the documents they were working on, and, on this basis, had determined profiles "not committed and unproductive enough" to show them the exit door.
In France, however, the Labor Code protects employees and strictly regulates dismissal, with a mandatory prior interview in the presence of a person representing the employer. Nevertheless, performance analysis software can very well guide the decision of a human HRD. Elsewhere, the situation is obviously different and some American companies already seem to have changed their tune...