Google lays off employees working on its voice assistant

  • Google has laid off a handful of employees working on its voice assistant.
  • Up to 20 staff members were cut, an internal document claimed.
  • Google has been making strategic cuts across the company throughout the year.

Insider has learned that Google has laid off a small number of employees who worked on its voice assistant.

According to a person familiar with the matter and an internal employee document that tracks employee layoffs across the company, several employees working on Assistant were informed on Monday that their roles were being eliminated.

The total number of employees affected could not be determined, but according to an internal document, up to 20 individual contributors were laid off. According to the report, the affected employees were data scientists.

According to the document, some of the affected employees were transferred from the Bard team to the Assistant team last Friday and were invited to a meeting about their role just hours later.

Employees compiled the document, which compiles information about job cuts posted both internally and externally.

“One of those affected is on maternity leave, and another has cancer,” according to the document.

Employees who are affected have 60 days to find a new position within the company or they will be forced to leave.

“In order to optimize our team structures around our highest priorities, we’ve reorganized our team to best support our strategic business objectives,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement to Insider.

Google previously announced plans to revamp its Assistant with generative AI-powered features, some of which have already begun to roll out. As part of the renewed focus, the company announced in August that it would eliminate “a small number” of positions. It’s unclear whether the recent layoffs are related to the announcement.

Google started the year by laying off 12,000 employees and has since made smaller strategic cuts across the company, including Google News and its health division Verily.

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