BT Group Plc, which announced plans to cut 55,000 workers by the end of the decade, said about 10,000 of those cuts will be related to digitization, automation and AI.
The technology will allow the company to operate “more efficiently,” BT Chief Executive Officer Philip Jansen said in a call on Thursday, noting that the company has filed more AI patents than any other in the UK. While AI won’t account for all the job losses, the technology will help BT replace some workers in IT and digital services, who will be gradually phased out.
Many customer service chats are already being handled by a bot, which is consistently awarded a high customer satisfaction ranking, Jansen said in the call with investors following the company’s earnings on Thursday. AI will also help manage traffic on the company’s network, he said.
“Managing traffic, predicting traffic more accurately, it’s people-intensive. You won’t need it any more,” Jansen said.
The company announced plans on Thursday to reduce its labor force, which includes full-time employees and contractors, by as much as 42%. The job cuts will come after the company completes an overhaul of its older copper network to faster fiber-optics and will help it meet plans to slash expenses by £3 billion ($3.7 billion) a year by 2025 from 2020 levels.