AI doing the work of over 200 people at Octopus, chief executive says
Octopus Energy customers are more satisfied with AI bots answering their emails than humans, the energy provider’s chief executive revealed on Monday.
Writing in the Times newspaper, the energy company’s chief executive, Greg Jackson, said the technology was doing the work of 250 people by answering customer emails and had received a 80 per cent satisfaction rate, higher than the 65 per cent achieved by workers.
The news amid growing concerns over AI’s unchecked power to potentially overhaul the jobs market and spread misinformation.
Last week, Geoffrey Hinton, the scientist dubbed the “Godfather of AI” quit his role at Google citing concerns about the dangers of AI, such as its potential ability to upend the jobs market and spread false information.
In the same week, the chief executive of technology giant, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), told Bloomberg News that 7,800 jobs could be replaced by the technology in the next five years.
Jackson of Octopus said the technology was unlikely to lead to job cuts at the energy provider.
The AI race has been heating up between giants like Microsoft and Google, as they have been pouring money into artificial intelligence since OpenAI launched ChatGPT last Autumn.
On Friday, a leaked internal document from a Google employee warned that the company was not poised to win any AI race, as it — alongside others including OpenAI — would lose out to open source intelligence tools.
The document was posted online by the semiconductor consulting company, SemiAnalysis, who said they verified the authenticity of the document, which can be traced to a Google researcher. Bloomberg News attributed the post to a senior software engineer inside Google.
Google was approached for comment.
The UK’s competition watchdog last week announced a government-backed review into the advancement of AI and its risks for consumers and competition in the UK.
“It’s crucial that the potential benefits of this transformative technology are readily accessible to UK businesses and consumers while people remain protected from issues like false or misleading information,” said Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).