The advent of artificial intelligence is already making waves in the job market, with various companies and research institutes reporting significant impacts on their workforce. Reports indicate that some businesses have been able to reduce their staff by 90% while achieving quicker response times to customer inquiries.
Dukaan, a Bengaluru-based startup offering SaaS-based storefront solutions for e-commerce merchants, recently showcased the effectiveness of their AI implementation. According to the company’s founder and CEO, Suumit Shah, Dukaan reduced the average resolution time for customer inquiries from 2 hours 13 minutes to just 3 minutes 12 seconds after introducing their AI assistant.
Shah acknowledged the difficult decision of laying off 90% of their support team, emphasizing the necessity of the AI chatbot. He highlighted a remarkable 85% reduction in customer support costs following the implementation.
However, the announcement faced criticism on social media, with some questioning the celebration and marketing tone surrounding the layoffs. Shah’s claims of a 90% reduction in jobs were disputed, as the layoffs reportedly occurred 10 months ago in September 2022. It remains unclear whether Dukaan has made further layoffs or if the previous layoffs accounted for the claimed 90%.
Dukaan’s AI chatbot, named Lina, has proven effective in quickly and accurately responding to common inquiries. Yet, the chatbot’s limitations in handling account-specific questions have been pointed out by users. Shah stated that the launch of Lina resulted in 1,400 support tickets marked as “solved” overnight.
In addition to their AI chatbot, Dukaan announced the release of a personalized AI service platform called Bot9. The platform allows companies to build their own AI assistants in just 30 seconds, aiming to reduce the cost of customer support. Bot9 leverages OpenAI’s large-scale language model, ChatGPT, and is available on Dukaan’s website for a monthly fee of $69.
The case of Dukaan has sparked debates about the potential consequences of AI on job displacement. With the increasing availability of AI tools like ChatGPT, concerns over job security have grown.
As businesses continue to explore AI applications, striking a balance between efficiency gains and workforce preservation will remain a critical consideration. The Dukaan case serves as a reminder of the ongoing discussions around the impact of AI on employment and the need for responsible implementation.