But LinkedIn made $15 billion for the first time this year.

Close Shave

Microsoft has the cash to pay hackers to jailbreak its Bing AI, but apparently not enough to keep almost 700 people employed at the Microsoft-owned professional social media platform LinkedIn.

The site is now undergoing its second round of layoffs this year, The New York Times reports. All told, 668 positions are being culled from its "engineering, product, talent and finance teams," according to a LinkedIn announcement on Monday, adding to the 716 employees who were let go in May from the company, which has about 19,500 personnel around the world.

LinkedIn didn't explain in detail why so many people were let go, but it's hard to ignore its parent company's hard pivot into AI that's seen it pour billions into the startup OpenAI and remake some of its most iconic products, including Bing, around chatbot language models.

AI Winter

On paper, LinkedIn looks like it's doing great. In a July statement, it had posted 5 percent revenue growth compared to the same time last year, cresting $15 billion for the first time with membership growing consecutively through eight quarters, topping at 950 million users.

So why is LinkedIn laying people off? It's hard to overlook Microsoft's all-in shift toward AI — which, it's worth noting, has included LinkedIn, which earlier this year unveiled a suite of generative AI tools for sales, marketing and recruiting.

The news also reflects broader trends, coming on the heels of Stack Overflow laying off more than 100 workers after seeing declining traction as programmers flock to AI coding tools such as the Microsoft-owned Github Copilot, which is undergirded by OpenAI's GPT-4.

This month's LinkedIn layoffs are also the latest in mass firings at other tech companies. Microsoft itself laid off 10,000 people back in January.

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