British telecoms giant BT has announced that it will replace 10,000 employees with artificial intelligence (AI) over the next seven years. This news sparked a lively discussion about the revolutionary impact of robots on our jobs.
There are growing concerns that the rise of artificial intelligence will have a devastating impact on employment. Experts also warn that 300 million jobs could disappear.
However, BT is one of the first major global companies to indicate how many employees will be affected by the AI revolution. CEO Philip Jansen stressed that the company will benefit greatly from artificial intelligence and that the technology can create jobs to replace lost ones. He acknowledges the risks, but sees AI as an emerging force similar to the Internet and mobile phones.
While machines will not completely replace human interaction, some are concerned about the impact of intelligent chatbots on customer service. Caroline Abrahams of Age UK, a charity, stresses that organizations must find a balance to continue to support older clients as well.
BT wants to use artificial intelligence to serve customers, specifically with its “Aimee” chatbot. In addition, artificial intelligence will help with energy efficiency and the expansion of the fiber-optic Internet cable network.
The ad sparked outrage. While some business leaders, including Google’s Sundar Pichai, warn of potential risks, other technology companies such as Google and Microsoft have already launched AI-related products and services.
BT’s plans to cut 40 percent of its workforce, the equivalent of about 55,000 jobs, are part of a larger restructuring plan.
See also. OpenAI CEO calls for AI regulation
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