Unlocking AI value through a values-led approach
By Lauren Kahn, Responsible Tech & Human Rights Director, BT Group and Armand David, Corporate Affairs Director, Digital, BT Group
AI is big news and generating lots of noise right now – whether it’s about the huge opportunities it can bring for businesses and society, or the emerging threats it presents. Finding the right path forward will require vision and purpose.
Our AI vision
Combining human intelligence and artificial intelligence, we want to use the power of AI in a safe and ethical manner to unlock value for our customers and colleagues in alignment with our purpose to ‘connect for good’.
Building trust to drive adoption
AI has the potential to deliver immense benefits for business and society. We’re already seeing this around us: whether it’s helping us to digitise the nation at pace; giving our customers a more personalised experience; or reducing the carbon impact of our networks.
But greater adoption will be key to unlocking the full value of AI. To drive adoption, we’ll need to put people first – our colleagues, customers, and communities. At its heart, this is about trust – in the technology and the organisations developing and deploying it.
Enabling AI for all
The policy debate to date has focused primarily on frontier AI developers and end consumers, but the deployers – those looking to apply AI in their everyday operations – have largely been left out. These are the businesses that need to deploy AI safely to benefit ordinary people. For that, we are calling for principles-based regulation that reduces risk and builds trust, transparency across the AI value chain, and partnership between government and industry.
Scaling AI responsibly
Individual organisations will need to play their part by scaling AI responsibly. At BT Group, we build and maintain trust by applying our responsible tech principles, ensuring that AI is deployed in a way that is for good, accountable, fair, and open. Our responsible AI approach is built on strong foundations of data governance, privacy and security, and built into our data fabric – a key enabling platform that helps streamline and embed these principles in the way data is accessed and used across the Group.
Protecting from new cyber threats
We are addressing new cyber threats in the realm of generative AI. AI changes the cyber risks we face by enabling attackers to automate and scale up their attacks, mimic and manipulate human behaviour. AI also increases the complexity and uncertainty of the cyber threat landscape. To address these threats, we have a dedicated AI security research team, developed AI security standards and best practices, and are participating in global initiatives and partnerships to advance AI security research and innovation. Ultimately, all organisations and governments will need to adopt a similarly proactive and collaborative approach to AI security.
Enabling a skills (re)evolution
Finally, AI will reshape the world of work. We need to work with our colleagues to explore what this means for them and to support them through the transition we all face as we build a new era of human/AI partnership. The new solutions built on AI will require new roles and evolved skills to enhance the value we deliver to our customers.
Towards a bright AI future – unlocking value for everyone
The benefits of AI will be transformative. We’ve already gained £100m of value from AI over the past 18 months across BT Group. And we have plans to go even further: by 2027, we plan to unlock a further half billion pounds in value. Some of this will come in the form of efficiencies – allowing us to invest for customers and the UK economy, and grow, creating jobs for the future. It will also take the form of new opportunities to re-imagine how we operate and serve customers, colleagues, and communities.
We know we have a huge role to play in unlocking AI’s potential. We will do that by building trust, by using AI to make everyday life better, and by building the skills we all need for a bright future – one in which people and AI come together, for good.