Spanish incumbent to use AI to give customers greater control over their experience.

Telefonica CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete this week detailed his plan to use artificial intelligence in order to put customers in control of their experience.

Called Aura, it harvests information from the Spanish incumbent’s networks, IT systems, and products and services. Once that has all been brought together, it is presented intelligibly to the customer, alongside suggested actions that said customer could take. These actions could be controlling what personal information is shared with Telefonica and what Telefonica is permitted to do with it, or recommended changes to their service plan, such as opting into value-added services.

The aim of all this is to provide a customer experience that is intuitive, personalised, and automated, explained Álvarez-Pallete during a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress on Monday.

"This is not just an assistant, it is much more than that," he insisted.

In addition, customers can anonymously and voluntarily agree to Aura sharing their data with third parties.

UNICEF is currently looking into how data provided by Aura could help it improve the support it provides to children during natural disasters, and ProFuturo – which aims to improve education for underprivileged children – wants to use the data to obtain useful insights for the implementation of its social initiatives.

Aura has been made possible by Telefonica’s €48 billion plan to simplify, digitalise, and add intelligence to its three platforms: networks, IT, and products and services. Aura represents the fourth platform, Álvarez-Pallete said, imbuing the other three with cognitive intelligence.

"It is a new paradigm for the industry," he declared.