Liberty Global, the parent company of telco Virgin Media O2 and Edge data center provider AtlasEdge, this week said it's being cautious in its approach to AI adoption.

Speaking at an event held in London this week by the company, Enrique Rodriguez, EVP and chief technology officer of Liberty Global, acknowledged that the technology will drive change in the telecoms industry.

Liberty Global panel
– Paul Lipscombe

"We're a bit cautious in our approach, as there's a lot of hype around AI both as a technology, as well as how companies will use it materially change to their business," he said.

"We do believe that there will be a material change to business, we just think that will happen maybe in a little bit more organized way as opposed to this explosion of movement."

Rodriguez expects AI to impact four areas of the business, notably how the company communicates and interacts with its customers, how it provides customer care, and also how it packages its products and services.

He also tips AI to play a role in how the telco can increase efficiency, in particular around towers.

"Another category is the way that AI will improve our operations. So these are things like using AI to save power on mobile towers," added Rodriguez.

"These are the kind of hardcore engineering problems where AI can provide a significant improvement. We can use AI to make our employees more efficient and more satisfied with their jobs."

AI is also tipped to shape how the workforce approaches day-to-day tasks. A report released by Liberty Global earlier this year revealed that half of all jobs in the US and Europe could use AI and generative AI to improve efficiency in at least 50 percent of work tasks.

Liberty Global's 'Wired for AI' study adds that the telecom industry will play a critical role in helping seven in every 10 jobs to be augmented by artificial intelligence (AI).

In response to an audience question on whether the emergence of AI will render technological degrees a thing of the past, Rodriguez dismissed the idea.

"First of all it is good to be a geek and AI has made it cool to be a geek," he said. "I don't really see anything over the next 10 years that's going to decrease the importance of some level of technical education.

"So I think it's a fascinating moment, not just for technology, but a fascinating moment for society, because we are looking at something that is potentially going to change people's lives."

Rodriguez added that he expects a couple of "superstar use cases" to lead the way initially for telcos, notably around energy management and customer care.