Artificial intelligence is set to handle O2 customer services from 2017

The voice recognition system, called Aura, was unveiled at MWC

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The Independent Tech

O2 has announced plans to introduce an AI capable of performing the same job as customer service staff.

The voice recognition system, which is called Aura, was unveiled by the mobile operator’s parent company Telefonica at MWC this week.

It’s expected to launch in the UK next year, and will enable the company to cut customer service costs.

Aura would be able to deal with customers’ issues over the phone, such as questions about bills and requests to make changes to existing mobile plans.

Telefonica also believes that Aura will help it boost customer loyalty, by allowing the firm to hand customers’ data back to them. 

“Cognitive intelligence will allows us to understand our customers better, so they can then relate to us in a more natural and easy way, and generate a new relationship of trust with them based on transparency and the control of their data,” said Telefonica CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete.

However, O2 CEO Mark Evans says the firm could also profit from Aura by selling on customers’ data with their permission, according to Bloomberg

It has been reported that robots and computer systems could replace almost 250,000 public sector workers over the next 15 years, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently warned that humans will have to merge with machines to avoid becoming irrelevant.

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