Developments in artificial intelligence mean network providers are now able to rethink their operations to achieve end-to-end automation. But most operators do not want to cede control to networks that decide their own direction and remove humans from the equation. They want their networks to become more ‘adaptive’ to respond to an ever-changing competitive landscape and consumer demands, which requires a coherent combination of human-controlled and -supervised automated operational processes, analytics-driven intelligence, and an underlying programmable infrastructure.