BT brutally axes 55,000 jobs and replaces 10,000 staff with robots

BT has become the first big British business to replace thousands of jobs with computer bots.

The telecoms company announced it is axing 55,000 roles by 2030 — with more than 10,000 eliminated because of advances in artificial intelligence.

Yesterday’s bloodbath came as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned we must lead the way in regulating AI and chatbots to make sure they do not take over the world.

At the G7 summit in Japan, he said automated technology has huge potential for transforming our society and economy in future.

But Mr Sunak insisted there must be “guardrails” to do it “safely and securely”, with the UK set to lead the way in curbs on robot tech.

BT plans to reduce its workforce from 130,000 to between 75,000 and 90,000 — potentially almost half — to save costs.

Boss Philip Jansen said there was a “huge opportunity to use AI to be more efficient”.

He added: “Whenever you get new technologies, you can get big changes.

“I believe generative AI is a huge leap forward. We have to be careful, but it is a massive change.”

He said tools such as ChatGPT — which can write essays, poems, music and computer programmes and answer questions — “gives us confidence we can go even further”.