Turnitin laid off staff earlier this year, after CEO forecast AI would allow it to cut headcount

Key Points:

  • CEO of Turnitin openly admitted AI will reduce headcount
  • Turnitin laid off around 15 people as part of organizational changes
  • CEO forecasted 20% reduction in engineering staff due to AI impact on job market


Turnitin, a leading plagiarism detection company, has confirmed a recent round of layoffs, underscoring CEO Chris Caren’s prediction that AI advancements would eventually lead to reducing their workforce by 20%. Although the actual number of layoffs was around 15 employees, a far cry from the forecasted percentage due to the company’s size – boasting over 900 employees – the move aligns with Caren’s earlier statements about the impact of AI on workforce needs.


During an event in 2023, Caren emphasized that Turnitin’s reliance on AI and machine learning technologies would reshape its staffing requirements, particularly in engineering, sales, and marketing roles. He foresees a significant shift towards hiring high school graduates over college-educated individuals.


Turnitin’s software, known for its sophisticated plagiarism detection capabilities, caters predominantly to educational institutions and partners like Coursera and Blackboard. Following the broader trend of AI’s disruptive influence on job markets, other companies like Klarna have also made headlines by implementing AI systems that replace hundreds of human workers.


In response to the recent layoffs, Turnitin issued a statement emphasizing the strategic nature of the decision, aimed at enhancing operational efficiency, customer service, and overall growth trajectory. The company expressed gratitude for the impacted employees’ contributions and offered transitional support while maintaining confidentiality around specific headcount details.



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