BT plans to lose 55,000 jobs, with AI replacing up to a quarter of them.
BT plans to lose up to 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade, largely in the UK, to save costs.
Customer service will account for up to a fifth of the reductions as personnel are replaced by technologies such as artificial intelligence.
The drop in headcount from the existing workforce of 130,000 comprises both employees and contractors.
“Whenever you get new technologies, you can expect big changes,” said CEO Philip Jansen.
“Generative AI” tools like ChatGPT, which can produce essays, scripts, poems, and solve computer problems in a human-like manner, he says, “give us confidence we can go even further.”
Mr Jansen stated that AI would make services faster, better, and more seamless, but that customers would not “feel like they are dealing with robots” as a result of the changes.
“We are multi-channel, online, and have 450 stores, and that will not change,” he stated.
“There are plenty of opportunities for our customers to deal with people at BT, plenty of people to speak to.”
Mr Jansen went on to say that “new technologies drive new jobs,” despite the fact that BT has stated that it will have a “much smaller workforce” by the end of the 2020s.
BT, the UK’s leading broadband and mobile provider, is presently expanding its fiber network as it transitions away from copper. The corporation stated that once the work was over, it would not require as many employees to create and maintain its networks.
Furthermore, it stated that newer, more efficient technology, such as artificial intelligence, will require fewer employees to assist clients in the future.
The move comes after Vodafone announced plans to cut a tenth of its workforce over the next three years, amounting to 11,000 jobs.