Published on December 6, 2023, 8:19 am

American Honda Motor Co., a renowned motor company, has chosen to incorporate generative AI into its operations. The introduction of ChatGPT, a powerful AI tool, has prompted a paradigm shift in the company’s approach to artificial intelligence.

The launch of ChatGPT disrupted American Honda’s planned strategy for the year and led to a reevaluation of priorities and goals. Recognizing the need to navigate both the short-term challenges and plan for the future, the company developed a five-pronged generative AI strategy.

Before the arrival of ChatGPT, AI was limited to a select few within the organization. American Honda prioritized improving data and analytics platforms but struggled to obtain valuable insights. However, with generative AI, access to data insights became democratized, leading to significant changes in how the company approached AI adoption.

American Honda is not alone in adjusting its plans due to generative AI. According to SoftBank data from November, approximately one-third of C-suite technology leaders have shifted their strategies accordingly. Companies like PwC and Mercedes-Benz have invested heavily in generative AI to enhance their capabilities.

When evaluating potential solutions, American Honda focused on three factors: capability, risk mitigation, and speed of deployment. Eventually, they selected Microsoft’s Copilot (formerly known as Bing Chat Enterprise) because it provided most of the capabilities available in public versions while adding an essential layer of responsible AI. Copilot enables teams at American Honda to benefit from ChatGPT without exposing them to risks such as loss of intellectual property or biases.

The company’s decision was also influenced by its existing infrastructure based on Microsoft Office 365, which seamlessly integrated with Copilot. While Copilot covers around 80% of American Honda’s use cases for generative AI, some departments—such as research and development or legal compliance—may require more customized solutions.

Since its implementation in November, Copilot has been widely adopted throughout the organization. Employees are utilizing the tool for various tasks, including research, summarization, ideation, and translation. The company continues to explore other providers and their plans for integrating generative AI into their respective platforms.

To ensure employees were well-informed about publicly available instances of generative AI tools, American Honda focused on education rather than outright banning access to these tools. The company’s risk management officer issued a balanced statement that highlighted both the benefits and risks associated with generative AI. Emphasizing caution and the importance of protecting intellectual property, the company aimed to create awareness without stifling innovation.

American Honda made sure its leadership team was educated by organizing intensive four-hour informational sessions. In these sessions, members developed their own use cases and gained hands-on experience with the technology. The company has also established content for education, covering safe use guidelines, risks involved, and prompt engineering.

The underlying belief at American Honda is that generative AI should augment human creativity and productivity rather than replacing it. The company maintains a clear message that this technology enables staff to tackle new challenges while preserving the importance of human involvement in the decision-making process.

In conclusion, American Honda Motor Co.’s incorporation of generative AI through Microsoft’s Copilot has significantly transformed its approach to artificial intelligence adoption. Through careful evaluation and education initiatives, the company aims to leverage this technology to enhance its operations while keeping human ingenuity at the forefront.

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