Technology Blog

Data makes our modern world turn. It informs business decisions, provides solutions to complex problems and ultimately improves the customer experience. It is an organization’s most valuable asset. And, the importance will only exponentially grow. The amount of data that flows through AT&T’s wireless network has increased 470,000% since 2007.

In other words:

This influx of data creates a world of possibilities for our employees to uncover. It’s what’s fueling advancements in emerging technologies like AI. We’re able to better support customer needs by rapidly applying AI to solve problems and create value.

From finding the data to delivering insights, the entire process takes a team of specialists who are experts in problem solving. A few of those include our Chief Data Office, Labs and Technology Development, where we collaborate by combining data, design and software to identify and apply the best AI solutions.

How is this unique:

Not only are we applying AI across our own company, we’re invested in driving the entire industry forward. You’ll see that commitment reflected in our AI Guiding Principles and our involvement in open source projects like Acumos.

What’s in it for you:

By combining AI/ML and human expertise into human-powered AI, we’re producing real solutions faster than ever before to build a better world for you. Here are a few examples:

  • Making sure your technician arrives on time: Using AI, automation and data insights, we created algorithms used to dispatch our more than 43,000 technicians more efficiently and serve our customers faster. These algorithms provide predictive capabilities that allows us to match customer demands to our technician’s availability significantly better.  On top of that, we’re working to make it possible for customers to track their technician’s location. It’s like a pizza delivery tracker for your AT&T technician.
  • Fighting robocalls: Our systems look for calling patterns to tip us off to suspected robocallers. As a simple example, we might look for multiple short-duration calls from a single source to numbers on the National Do Not Call list. We’ve blocked more than 4.6 billion calls using this network data analysis.
  • Fighting fraud: Frauds and scams hurt everyone. Nobody wants a crook to order a new smartphone from their account. Data and AI help us look for indicators of bad behavior. For instance, if we see a consumer logging into their online account from England, but their cell phone is located in New Jersey where they live, that creates an alarm. If a customers’ login occurs from an English IP address, but in this case their cell phone location also has recently registered in England on a weekday, as it has done a few times, that suggests this could be a traveler.
  • Improving customer care: Customers are at the heart of what we do. It’s imperative we support them – whenever, wherever and however they want to connect. We’re using data and advanced technology to help personalize interactions and answer questions. Our digital assistance tools use an AI-first approach to enable friction-free, always available, customer powered problem-solving solutions.
  • Building the 5G network: 5G promises to shift paradigms for industries and accelerate consumer experiences into a future that seems like science fiction today. Key pillars will include mobile 5G, fixed wireless service and edge computing. Thousands of new small cells must be installed in the right places to help ensure the best 5G customer experience. To execute perfectly, we must collect and analyze device experiences – good and bad – exactly where and when they happen. That’s how we know the spots that need improvement. ML and AI will work together to keep the 5G network maintained and secure by continuously monitoring how you’re using it and how it’s responding. 
  • Operating and protecting our network: In addition to helping build the network, AI aids in optimizing and securing our network. We use AI to optimize traffic and speed, so everyone gets an optimum bandwidth to run apps or stream their favorite video anytime anywhere. AI is also used to secure the network, so you can feel safe exchanging information and data.
  • Preparing for climate change: The best network is one that’s not damaged by a flood or storm. In March, we announced the creation of a Climate Change Analysis Tool. We’ve engaged with Argonne National Laboratory to help anticipate weather impacts on our network infrastructure up to 30 years into the future. We feed millions of data points into AI and ML algorithms to make better, smarter decisions. When making long-term, billion-dollar investments, it’s best to consider rising sea levels and other scenarios that could affect our hardware and business operations.

The bigger picture:

Data is at the core of every decision we make. These examples above barely scratch the surface of what our data scientists can do.

The deployment of 5G will lead to an explosion of data and increased demands for the business. Autonomous cars, virtual reality, sensor management and autonomous drones. These 5G-enabled applications will create a whole new pool of data for our teams to dive into.

Take a look for yourself and learn more about the possibilities here.

ICYMI:

AI, 5G, and Edge Working Together to Help Improve How You Live, Work, and Play

What Does Artificial Intelligence Mean at AT&T?

Artificial Intelligence at AT&T: Our Guiding Principles