In this May 16, 2019 file photo, people talk at the stand of the US multinational information technology company International Business Machines Corporation, during the Vivatech startups and innovation fair, in Paris. (PHOTO / AFP)

International Business Machines Corp expects to pause hiring for roles as roughly 7,800 jobs could be replaced by Artificial Intelligence in the coming years, CEO Arvind Krishna told Bloomberg News on Monday.

Hiring specifically in back-office functions such as human resources will be suspended or slowed, Krishna said, adding that 30 percent of non-customer-facing roles could be replaced by AI and automations in five years.

His comment comes at a time when AI has caught the imagination of people around the world after the launch of Microsoft Corp-backed OpenAI's viral chatbot, ChatGPT, in November last year.

The reduction could include not replacing roles vacated by attrition, the PC-maker told the publication.

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IBM did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.