Insider emailed their staff Thursday that 10% of their workforce, including staff writers, would be laid off.
Last week, Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson from Insider revealed that the outlet’s writers would trial ChatGPT. In response to the query whether these layoffs had something to do with this AI chatbot, a spokesperson for Insider emphatically denied it, saying, “Of course not.”
Ms. Peng, president of Insider Incorporated, conveyed the news of future layoffs via email to the organization’s staff, initially reported by The Daily Beast and later acquired by Gizmodo. An announcement that those affected would receive individual notifications 15 minutes after distributing her message was also included.
Staff affected by the closure will be provided with several benefits, including 13 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year worked up to a limit of four years; health care coverage through August 2023; and support services such as review of resumes and personal sessions with coaches.
“As you know, our industry has been under significant pressure for more than a year. The economic headwinds that have hurt many of our clients and partners are also affecting us,”
“Unfortunately to keep our company healthy and competitive, we need to reduce the size of our team. We have tried hard to avoid taking this step, and we are sorry about the impact it will have on many of you.”
Peng asserted in her email that the layoffs would be implemented in their unionized outlets. Additionally, the president of Insider claimed that management was prevented from conversing with the union due to certain “union rules.” This means writers would also face these cuts.
No warning was given to the Insider Union before the staff layoffs, and there was no dialogue between them and management, according to an Insider employee. The Insider Union failed to respond to Gizmodo’s query for input.
The company notified both staff and the union when it announced its cuts. However, Peng’s email did not clarify which rules precisely were referenced. A spokesperson for Insider stated that negotiations with the union are happening to agree on a final figure regarding the amount of represented staff affected by the cuts.
In a letter to staff recently posted by Carlson on Insider, he mentioned setting up a working group consisting of staff writers to test how AI could be integrated responsibly into the company workflow using internal programs.
He proposed leveraging AI to construct story outlines, scan for spelling and grammar errors to conserve editorial personnel’s time, author search engine-optimized titles, and explain complex topics.
He strongly advised staff against providing any confidential information regarding sources to ChatGPT. He urged the writers of the outlet not to copy anything created by ChatGPT or any other AI chatbot into their articles.
In response to a rising tide of tech-company layoffs, media outlets, including ABC News, NPR, Buzzfeed, and Vox Media, have not been spared – in the past few months, they have made staff cuts. Insider is one of the notable names added to this list.
While the company has been experimenting with various technologies and tools to enhance its services, ChatGPT’s involvement in these experiments was not a factor in the playoffs. Insider move is common in the current business landscape, as many companies make tough decisions to streamline their operations and remain competitive. As the technology landscape continues to evolve, companies need to stay agile and adapt to changes in the market. As for ChatGPT, we remain committed to providing cutting-edge language AI solutions that help businesses stay ahead of the curve.