Elon Musk suggests Twitter is more productive after job cuts, urges more companies to do the same

By Abhik Sengupta:

Twitter and Tesla owner Elon Musk suggests that big tech companies should cut jobs to increase the value of work and productivity. During an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Musk was referring to the situation at Twitter before his takeover. He notes that in most companies, there are workers who “help move things forward” and employees “who try to slam the brakes on (productivity),” adding that nine out of ten people at Twitter dropped productivity. After his takeover last year in October, Musk cut half of Twitter’s workforce from 7500 to roughly 3500. More workers got laid off in the following months, while some left due to Musk’s “hardcore” work culture. Twitter currently employs 1,500 workers globally.

During the interview, Musk also referred to companies in Silicon Valley for not adding value to their work. He said, “A lot of people are doing things that do not have a lot of value, and that’s probably true for most Silicon Valley companies. Maybe not to the degree to which it was at Twitter, but it’s still. There’s significant potential for cuts without affecting their productivity. In fact, increasing their productivity.”

When asked if job cuts led to massive Twitter outages, Musk replied that site breakdowns happen. He adds, “Outages are not unusual, Instagram recently had an outage, for example.” Musk also joked that users took to Twitter to report about the Instagram outage.

Musk has repeatedly spoken about the situation at Twitter in terms of productivity. He had accused the previous management of running Twitter like a non-profit organisation. During the mass layoff, Musk also fired the top management, including then-CEO Parag Agrawal. Recently, he said that work-from-home is morally incorrect.

During the latest interview, the Tesla owner also touched up artificial intelligence, which has become the talk of the town following the public release of ChatGPT. Musk has repeatedly warned about AI dangers, including risks associated with generative AI such as ChatGPT. In the past, he has suggested that AI can turn into sentient-like beings and take over humans.

However, changes are inevitable and Musk also agrees that big changes are coming soon. He states, “In a 20-30 year time frame, I think things will be transformed beyond belief. You probably won’t recognise society in 30 years. You asked me about generative artificial intelligence. I think we’re perhaps only three years, maybe six years away from it. So the impact, arguably, we are on the Event Horizon of the black hole, that is social super intelligence.”

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