Man Was Fired By His Company's AI System Due To Human Error, As Managers 'Stood Powerless'

Mizuki Hisaka

In what many are considering a grave warning of the potential consequences of AI in the workplace, a man was fired by his company's AI system. Worst of all, his human managers "stood helpless" throughout the firing process. Nobody had any real answers at first, and no human was able to keep the man from being escorted out of the building by security.

Ibrahim Diallo, a programmer for a company in Los Angeles, described his "automated" firing in a viral blog post, described the New Zealand Herald. On the day that Diallo was technically fired, he got to work as usual and attempted to use his key card to gain entry to his work. The key card would not work, however, and Diallo also found out that he was locked out of his computer and applications. Later in the day, his recruiter said that they'd received an email notifying them that Diallo's contract had been terminated. Nobody had any answers for Diallo about why this was happening. Finally, the building security guards appeared, and escorted Diallo out of the building.

All of this happened because Diallo's previous manager failed to renew his contract in the system. But this simple human error triggered an entire series of automated messages and orders that literally forced Diallo out of the company's building, according to the BBC.

"It's another example of a failure of human thinking where they allow it to be humans versus machines rather than humans plus machines. One of the fundamental skills for all humans in an AI world is accountability -- just because the algorithm says it's the answer, it doesn't mean it actually is."
"It was soulless and written in red as it gave orders that dictated my fate. Disable this, disable that, revoke access here, revoke access there, escort out of premises, etc. The system was out for blood and I was its very first victim."