A New Age of Layoffs as Apple Discontinues Data Operations Annotations Team

A New Age of Layoffs as Apple Discontinues Data Operations Annotations Team

Apple AI Layoffs; Image Source: The Verge (0)

Apple shuts its Data Operations Annotations department in San Diego, driving staff to join the Texas team in Austin. Those who choose not to relocate risk potential layoffs on April 26, according to Bloomberg.

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A New Age of Layoffs as Apple Discontinues Data Operations Annotations Team

Apple AI Layoffs; Image Source: The Verge (0)

Table of contents

Source: 1

Apple recently shut down its San Diego-based Data Operations Annotations team, which included 121 individuals in charge of the company's artificial intelligence activities. This crew was crucial in improving Siri through voice service requests.

Employees were told of the decision to relocate the San Diego team to Austin and merge with the existing Texas division. The crew, which began as contractors listening to Siri queries, moved to being full-time workers in 2019. 

They are now faced with a critical decision: relocate to Austin or face termination.

Source: 2

Unexpected Turn of Events at Apple

Many staff were taken aback by the announcement that the AI team would be transferring to Austin. Earlier speculation suggested a relocation to a new Apple facility in the San Diego area. However, the abrupt relocation to Texas has left staff unsure about their future positions and career prospects.

Employees in San Diego have until the end of February to figure out whether they will relocate. Those who refuse to relocate risk losing their jobs on April 26. While Apple expresses its commitment to San Diego, the move to consolidate causes concerns among affected employees.

Many employees indicate a reluctance to migrate to Austin, citing concerns about job eligibility, particularly for those without engineering skills. Apple's statement that employees can apply for other employment is unclear about the specifics of the available possibilities.

To help with the transition, Apple is ready to provide a $7,000 relocation allowance to employees who want to move to Austin by the end of June. Those who decline the offer, on the other hand, will have their positions eliminated. Apple guarantees severance pay depending on years of work and offers six months of health insurance.

During the pandemic, other tech businesses suffered layoffs, but Apple mainly avoided them. Some corporate retail roles and recruiting positions were eliminated in April of last year. However, Apple's recent choice regarding the AI team signals a shift in its strategy, which could lead to personnel departures.

Apple Note

Apple's decision to disband the Data Efforts Annotations team and centralise efforts in Austin represents a significant shift for the tech titan. The impact on personnel, relocation issues, and uncertainty about prospects highlight the complexity of such organisational transitions. 

As the affected workforce adjusts to the changes, Apple hopes to strike a balance between its commitment to growth and the requirement for operational efficiency.

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Siddhesh Surve

With a background in Journalism, Siddhesh aims to educate readers on tech news in India. Covering national and global events, he wants his readers to be aware of what’s new in tech today!