Telecoms giant BT is to shed up to 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade, mostly in the UK, as it cuts costs.

Up to a fifth of those cuts will come in customer services as staff are replaced by technologies including artificial intelligence.

The headcount reduction from the current workforce of 130,000 includes staff and contractors.

Chief Executive Philip Jansen says whenever you get new technologies you can get big changes.

He said “generative AI” tools such as ChatGPT – which can write essays, scripts, poems, and solve computer coding in a human-like way – gives them confidence that they can go even further.

Mr Jansen said AI would make services faster, better and more seamless, adding that the changes would not mean customers will feel like they are dealing with robots.