India CEO criticised for picking AI bot over human staff

An Indian CEO is being criticised after he said that his firm had replaced 90% of its support staff with an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.

Suumit Shah, founder of Dukaan, said on Twitter that the chatbot had drastically improved first response and resolution time of customers’ queries.

The tweet sparked outrage online.

It comes at a time when there has been a lot of conversation and apprehension about AI taking away people’s jobs, specially in the services industry.

In a series of tweets, which have over one million views, Mr Shah wrote about his firm’s decision to use a chatbot. He said that though laying off staff had been a “tough” decision, it was “necessary”.

“Given the state of economy, start-ups are prioritising ‘profitability’ over striving to become ‘unicorns’, and so are we,” he wrote. Mr Shah added that customer support had been a struggle for the firm for a long time and that he was looking to fix this.

He also wrote about how they built the bot and the AI platform in a short span of time so that all of Dukaan’s customers could have their own AI assistant. He said that the bot was answering all kinds of queries with speed and accuracy.

“In the age of instant gratification, launching a business is not a distant dream anymore,” he wrote. “With the right idea, the right team, anyone can turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality.”

Mr Shah also added that the firm was hiring for multiple roles.

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