ByteDance CEO berates staff for reacting too slowly to ChatGPT, new tech trends

ByteDance CEO berates staff for reacting too slowly to ChatGPT, new tech trends

ByteDance CEO berates staff for reacting too slowly to ChatGPT, new tech trends

The chief executive of ByteDance, owner of TikTok and its mainland sibling Douyin, berated employees for “not being sensitive enough” to the emergence of new technologies such as ChatGPT.

In an internal meeting on Tuesday, CEO Liang Rubo said staff only began discussing ChatGPT in 2023, according to excerpts of his speech published by ByteDance on various social media platforms on Wednesday.

“The LLM start-ups that have been doing well were basically established between 2018 and 2020”, said Liang, who took over as ByteDance’s CEO when fellow founder Zhang Yiming stepped down in 2021.
Zhang Yiming (left) and Liang Rubo (right). Photo: Handout

ByteDance launched its chatbots Doubao and Cici AI in the second half of 2023, after rivals Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding already rolled out their services in March and April, respectively. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

During the all-hands meeting on Tuesday, Liang also criticised staff at China’s most valuable tech start-up for lacking “a sense of crisis”, the Post reported earlier this week. He said one of the company’s priorities for the year would be to stay “always day-one”, referring to the Beijing-based unicorn’s entrepreneurial spirit.

ByteDance’s content recommendation system, which feeds personalised content to users based on their interest and viewing activities, has long been regarded in the industry as a successful use case of AI.

The technology helped turn, acquired by ByteDance in 2017 in a deal valued at up to US$1 billion and merged with then-obscure TikTok, into the world’s most popular social media app backed by a Chinese company.

Liang said that ByteDance was slower to react to new tech trends than some start-ups that “immediately spotted new projects on GitHub, then bought or partnered up with them”.

The CEO, who previously oversaw human resources at ByteDance, added that the firm would continue to “increase the incentive gap between top and bottom performers” to retain good talent.

Earlier this month, the company updated its payroll policy, standardising its annual bonuses to three months’ worth of salary. The change is set to affect thousands of employees who were used to receiving higher bonuses, such as product design and optimisation staff whose bonuses had reached the level of six months’ salary.

To offset the impact, the company has promised product managers pay rises.

Source link