Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat: an internal ChatGPT application for employees | Al Bawaba

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is intended to make day-to-day work easier for employees and increase efficiency

Mercedes-Benz is rolling out an internal web application for its employees – the Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat. It uses OpenAI´s ChatGPT technology through Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service. It’s a text generator that uses machine learning and natural-language processing to deliver precise and contextual answers in just a few seconds. The intuitive and user-friendly Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat can, for example, help with the creation of e-mails, reports and other work documents, or even summarise longer texts. It will initially be available in English and German. Applications based on generative artificial intelligence promise to streamline processes and tasks and save valuable time, especially in administration. Mercedes-Benz expects this to lead to significant gains in efficiency. The integration of this innovative technology into daily work routine should further help to continuously offer better solutions for customers.

“AI is a booster of the digital transformation. That’s why our employees should be given the opportunity to work with this groundbreaking technology and gain their own experience in a protected environment. The introduction of Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat based on Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service marks a significant milestone on our way to becoming a digital company, and its utilisation will help lead us into an even more efficient future.”

Jan Brecht, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Mercedes-Benz Group AG

By the end of the year, most of the workforce will be able to use the application and become more familiarised with the possibilities of generative AI in a secure environment – enabling them to learn its opportunities and risks. Terms of use have been drawn up specifically for this purpose. For example, the generated output must be checked for accuracy and clearly labeled if the text has not received a substantial review and validation by the user.

Mercedes-Benz supports workforce with specific training offers for AI

To get employees started with this topic and the tool, Mercedes-Benz is providing them with a variety of training courses. These range from introductory sessions to special learning pathways. This way, the company is consistently continuing on the path taken with the Turn2Learn (LINK) qualification initiative, and offering

employees a comprehensive range of opportunities to learn independently and flexibly for their current job or future job profiles. As part of the Turn2Learn qualification initiative, Mercedes-Benz is investing more than €2 billion in the qualification of its global workforce until 2030. One focus is on offerings related to digitalisation and AI.

“Artificial intelligence won’t just support in taking over repetitive and routine tasks, it can also support more complex processes. This will increasingly free up time and capacity for more creative and more demanding activities. Every day, I’m seeing how the Mercedes-Benz team is embracing this change and is learning how to make the best possible use of digital opportunities like AI. In this way, each and every one of us is investing in their own future and opening up new professional opportunities for themselves. With Turn2Learn, our company is providing employees with appropriate qualifications – including for Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat.”

Sabine Kohleisen, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG responsible for Human Relations and Labour Director

Mercedes-Benz guarantees data protection and data security

Data protection is a high priority for Mercedes-Benz. The use of Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat requires compliance with the relevant data protection guidelines and regulations. Employees’ text inputs are processed anonymously and the data entered will not be stored on servers or used for training the AI. Mercedes-Benz is integrating ChatGPT through Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, using the large-scale generative AI models combined with the security, privacy and reliability features of Azure cloud. The web application is operated in European data centres. Mercedes-Benz always has sovereignty over the IT processes running in the background.

“The question is not whether artificial intelligence will be used – but how. With Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat, we’re providing our teams with an innovative solution that is both opportunity-oriented and exemplary of how to use AI responsibly. We have integrated our AI principles and data protection from the very beginning of development. Direct Chat is clear proof: By tackling future technologies in an interdisciplinary manner, seizing opportunities and keeping an eye on the risks, we can successfully shape the transformation of Mercedes-Benz.”

Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Integrity, Governance & Sustainability

Mercedes-Benz Direct Chat aligns with Mercedes-Benz AI principles

The integration of Azure OpenAI Service with the internal application is being carried out in line with the AI principles practised by Mercedes-Benz. The company has kept an eye on the legal and ethical aspects of the development and use of AI from the beginning and has accordingly set clear guidelines: Mercedes-Benz develops and uses AI according to four principles: “responsible use”, “explainability”, “protection of privacy” and “security and reliability”.

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