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Unlocking Everyday Superpowers: AI with Steve Jarrett

Posted at: 04.08.2024in category:Top Stories
Chief AI Officer of Orange Group Steve Jarrett explains how AI is improving our daily lives and transforming Orange’s services.

headshot steve jarrett From Facebook's early machine learning initiatives to the original iPod team at Apple, Steve Jarrett boasts a rich history of successful projects spanning his 25-year career. Now, as Orange Group's Chief AI Officer, he spearheads the development of innovative use cases and processes, driving value through data and AI.

As we delve into his vision for AI's impact, Steve shares his insights on how this technology can revolutionize our daily routines and empower telecoms in new ways.

How can AI make people’s lives better?

I am convinced that Artificial Intelligence provides 'superpowers' that can help us in our daily lives. It can automate repetitive tasks, saving us time and effort. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data, providing valuable insights, offering clear summaries, and improving decision-making processes. Personalization is another key benefit of AI, as it can tailor experiences and recommendations to our specific preferences and needs. AI-powered virtual assistants can assist us in various tasks, from managing our schedules to answering our questions and especially in helping us to learn in a more natural dialog style of conversation. Generative AI also enables far more easy interactions with computers just by speaking to them, where the ability to use and customize your computer in ways that were previously only available to people who knew how to program software will be made available to everyone.

How has Orange utilized AI to enhance the lives of its customers?

There are many examples. To name a few: AI-powered Network Predictive Maintenance. AI helps us to detect the weak signals of potential malfunctions of our network infrastructure and to correct them at the very early phase, often before any customer notices a problem.

AI-aided customer support helps Orange to answer customer questions and issues. Bots are always available and can quickly answer many customer questions. AI also gives superpowers to our customer service agents by quickly analyzing complex situations and recommending potential solutions to offer to our customers, as well as new products and services that may be useful to them.

AI is also used to optimize customer’s journey on the Orange website. Depending on the customer profile and their activity history AI creates personalized suggestions of Orange services and devices that are relevant and valuable.

How do you prioritize ethical considerations in the development of AI technologies?

Ethics is at the heart of our use of data and AI and our mission to use AI responsibly to superpower our customers, our partners, and our employees. We see responsible AI as meaning both a commitment to ethical use of AI but also the careful practice of using the ‘right tool for the right problem’ where we only use the most powerful AI models when other techniques are not sufficient. This allows us to offer faster, less costly, and more transparent solutions to these simpler problems, but also minimizes the environmental impact of our use of the most complex AI systems like Generative AI. Orange has also created a“Data and AI Ethics Board” full of external experts from industry and academia to monitor and provide guidance for our major Data and AI projects. Lastly, within every country each project is actively reviewed for compliance with these ethical and environmental commitments as well as compliance with GDPR, which we have done since 2018.

How do you balance automation and maintaining a human touch in Orange services, particularly in areas heavily influenced by AI?

Our approach is to use AI to superpower our employees, our networks and our customer experiences. This means to use AI to provide the best possible solutions to the challenges that our employees face in their daily jobs and to allow them to focus their time on the most important parts of their work, especially building trust and delivering the best possible service to our customers. To achieve this, a huge effort of acculturation and reskilling of Orange employees is made with world-class online and in-person training. We also have issued Generative AI Usage Guidelines that ensures that an employee reviews every important AI suggestion to both mitigate potential risks of incorrect answers but also to allow our employees to help us improve those AI systems over time.

Any ongoing AI projects or initiatives you care to share?

We have a lot of interesting projects happening with AI, specifically ones that showcase how AI can address societal challenges or improve accessibility, for instance: Using AI to let Orange be “greener” (AI for Green and Green AI): reducing environmental impacts by using AI to optimize power consumption in our buildings as well as in our network.

Using AI to support digital and social inclusion in Africa by enabling our customers to interact with our services by writing or speaking in their preferred language.

Looking ahead, what are some exciting developments or trends in AI that Orange is particularly focused on?

We are working on many AI use cases to superpower our networks, our customer experiences, and our employees daily lives.

For example, are promoting GenAI technologies across ourOrange footprint in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with an internal, secure set of AI models that any employee can use to help summarize documents, assist with translation, answer questions, and help them to understand unfamiliar systems. This service has been used by over 25,000 employees in just the first months of 2024.

On the network side, we are working on using AI to provide higher levels of automation, security, reliability, and personalization of our 5G and other future networks. Along with cloudification and softwarization, AI will be a major enabler for these more complex and dynamics networks of the future.

Orange at VivaTech 2024

Don’t miss out on Orange’s Lab at VivaTech this year where attendees will be able to check out Orange’s AI-powered innovation. Discover the dynamic collaboration between cutting-edge startups and the leading global telecommunications operators.

Want to meet inspiring experts like Steve Jarrett who are shaping our future with AI? Book your pass to VivaTech 2024. Get a step ahead and be part of something truly special.

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