Dev platform Stack Overflow axes 28% of staff as AI competition grows

Developer and programmer platform Stack Overflow is cutting the company’s headcount by approximately 28% amid a rise in the popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots. 

On Oct. 16, Stack Overflow CEO, Prashanth Chandrasekar, made the announcement citing the challenges of macroeconomic pressures impacting the entire tech industry.

The firm is on a “path to profitability” and “continued product innovation,” said Chandrasekar who added, “This year we took many steps to spend less.”

Stack Overflow is a 15-year-old tech-focused question-and-answer forum for millions of developers, coders, and enthusiasts. It doubled its headcount in 2022 to 540, according to reports, so this week’s layoffs account for around 150 employees.

In August, Stack Overflow noted that its web traffic has seen a small decline compared to 2022, falling by an average of 5%.

“Conversely, in April of this year, we saw an above-average traffic decrease (~14%), which we can likely attribute to developers trying GPT-4 after it was released in March,” it added.

The firm also said it expected generative AI to cause “some rises and falls in traditional traffic and engagement over the coming months.”

Meanwhile, technology outlets such as Ars Technica have attributed the rise of AI chatbots to declines in the traffic and usage of traditional social knowledge-sharing platforms such as forums.

“Chatbots can offer more specific help than a 5-year-old forum post ever could,” it stated on October 17. ChatGPT and the like can also correct code, provide optimization suggestions, and explain what each line of code is doing.

New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business Professor Panos Ipeirotis also made a similar suggestion in an X post on Oct. 17. 

Screenshot from X post by professor Panos Ipeirotis on Oct. 17. Source: X/@ipeirotis

However, Stack Overflow is working on its own answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT in the form of “Overflow AI,” announced in July.

The goal is to introduce new features to leverage Stack Overflow’s community knowledge to power AI that provides developers with personalized, trustworthy solutions. Chandrasekar concuded.

“As we refine our focus, priorities, and strategy it’s to better meet the demands of our users, customers, and partners as part of this commitment to product innovation and the continued momentum of OverflowAI.”

Cointelegraph contacted Stack Overflow for comment but was referred back to the Oct. 16 announcement.

Related: How AI is changing crypto: Hype vs. reality

In related news, the Coinhouse crypto exchange has also axed 15% of its workforce according to reports.

The 2015-founded French exchange has laid off 10 of its 70 employees citing “reduced enthusiasm for Web3 and a fragile global economic environment.”

Earlier this month French hardware wallet provider announced a 12% staff reduction.

Magazine: ‘AI has killed the industry’: EasyTranslate boss on adapting to change

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Written by Martin Young on 2023-10-17 04:33:40.

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