Google layoffs: Tech titan eliminates hundreds of jobs in ad team tweak

Google layoffs: The Alphabet-owned company on Tuesday confirmed it is eliminating “a few hundred” positions from its global ad team, amid a push to use artificial intelligence for efficiency and creativity. The job cuts to its “large customer” sales team are intended to result in better support for small and medium size businesses advertising on Google’s platform, according to the internet giant.

Expansion of small business ad teams at Google was expected by the company to result in increased hiring this year.

Google made no mention of generative AI, which is disrupting many sectors including advertising.

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Last week, Google’s cloud computing unit announced new AI tools to help retailers “personalize online shopping, modernize operations, and transform in-store technology rollouts.”

Google cited research indicating that some 80 percent of US retailers feel it is urgent to adopt generative AI in their operations.

“In only a year, generative AI has morphed from a barely recognized concept to one of the fastest-moving capabilities in all of technology and a critical part of many retailers’ agendas,” Google Cloud strategic industries vice president Carrie Tharp said in a release.

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New Google AI tools included enabling retailers to easily embed virtual agents in websites or mobile apps to provide personalized help and recommendations to shoppers, according to a release.

Google AI is also being put to work analyzing product images and producing product descriptions or terms suited to optimize discovery in online searches, the company said.

Google laid off around 12,000 people this time last year, about six percent of its workforce, in the face of inflation and rising interest rates.

The Silicon Valley company has since invested heavily in generative AI.

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