Apple is shutting a 121-team-related AI operations, but why it is not job cuts – Times of India



Apple is shutting down a team of 121 employees responsible for the company’s artificial intelligence operations in San Diego. The team, known as Data Operations Annotations, was recently informed that they would be relocated to Austin to merge with the Texas branch of the same team.
The San Diego group is responsible for improving Siri through voice service queries, and they have been asked to relocate to Austin.Initially, it mainly consisted of contractors who listened to Siri queries, but this practice was made optional for customers in 2019. The contractors were replaced with full-time employees. The team focused on using Siri in multiple languages, including Hebrew, English, Spanish dialects, Portuguese, Arabic, and French. A top deputy to Apple’s AI chief, John Giannandrea, made the relocation announcement, as reported by Bloomberg.
An Apple spokeswoman confirmed its decision to Bloomberg, saying the company is bringing its “Data Operations Annotations teams in the US together at our campus in Austin, where a majority of the team is already based.” She added that “everyone currently employed will have the opportunity to continue their role with Apple in Austin.”
Apple’s move could result in some terminations
Apple has informed the team members in San Diego that they need to decide by the end of February whether they want to relocate. If they choose not to relocate, they will be terminated on April 26.
While the company has stated that it is committed to San Diego, where it has experienced significant growth, it has decided to move its AI team to one location in Austin. Sources familiar with the matter say that the move has come as a surprise to the San Diego staff, who had been informed that they would be relocated to a new Apple campus in the area by the end of January. However, instead of moving to a new campus, they will now have to move to Texas.
The majority of the affected workers have expressed their unwillingness to relocate to Austin, and some do not believe that they will be eligible for many roles because they lack engineering backgrounds. Although Apple has told its employees that they can apply for other jobs, they have not been given any further information regarding their future employment prospects.
Apple is offering a $7,000 relocation stipend to employees who choose to relocate to Austin by the end of June. Those who decline will have their roles eliminated and receive severance pay based on their length of service, in addition to six months of health insurance.
While other tech companies have had layoffs during the pandemic, Apple has largely avoided them. There were Some corporate retail jobs, and recruiters were cut last April. However, Apple’s recent move could result in some of the employees leaving the company.





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