AI to Blame as Dropbox Cuts 500 Jobs


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been thrust into the public domain over the last few months, with platforms such as ChatGPT seemingly faster and more accurate than humans. While there’s always a fear that AI can replace workers, the file-sharing platform Dropbox blamed AI for reducing its workforce.

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Times Are Changing

Dropbox started four years before Google rolled out its Google Drive rival in 2012. It quickly became one of the most popular file-sharing hosts, providing users with an online space to store their data. But in a “difficult” blog post to staff, CEO Drew Houston said that it’s cutting Dropbox’s workforce by 500 people.

File Sharing
Image source: Pexels

One of the reasons Houston gave for the 16 percent reduction is AI. In essence, Dropbox realizes that AI-powered systems will be able to deliver “new superpowers and completely transform knowledge work,” but not everybody is in a suitable role.

That means as Dropbox shifts its focus to incorporate AI into the file-sharing space, the skills of some workers are redundant. Development is also hastened to stay ahead of the competition, which Houston says has “the same opportunities.”

Difficult Decisions

Most companies would attempt to shift redundant workers to a different team, but Dropbox has seemingly exhausted all avenues to retain the affected staff. “Our next growth stage requires a different mix of skill sets, particularly in AI and early-stage product development. We’ve been bringing in great talent in these areas over the last couple of years, and we’ll need even more,” Houston said in the blog post.

Another reason for the layoffs, according to the CEO, is that Dropbox’s growth has slowed. This is seemingly a combination of a saturated file-sharing market and users cutting unnecessary expenses.

Dropbox provides individual users with 2GB of online storage for free on the Basic plan, and that can be expanded to 2TB with the Plus plan for $10 a month. This is in contrast to Google Drive, which is free for 15GB of cloud-based storage.

Image credit: Pexels

Charlie Fripp
Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp is a technology writer with a strong focus on consumer gadgets, video games, and cyber security. He holds an undergraduate degree in professional journalism and has worked as a journalist for over 15 years. In his spare time, he enjoys playing various musical instruments and gardening.

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