Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

19 Photo: Unsplash/Maximilian Bruck The Coca-Cola Company is to experiment with “groundbreaking technology” to foster innovation and productivity globally after investing $1.1 billion into Microsoft’s cloud and generative AI technologies. “This new [five-year] agreement shows our commitment to ongoing digital transformation,” said John Murphy, president and chief financial officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “Our partnership with Microsoft has grown exponentially, from the $250 million agreement we initially announced in 2020.” Coca-Cola has already migrated all its applications to Microsoft Azure and has been experimenting with generative AI for nearly a year. The extended partnership will enable the two companies to jointly experiment with technologies including Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to develop generative AI solutions for various business functions. They will also test how Copilot for Microsoft 365 could improve workplace productivity. “Through our long-term partnership, we have made significant progress to accelerate system-wide AI transformation across The Coca-Cola Company and its network of independent bottlers worldwide,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Microsoft. Coca-Cola invests $1.1 billion into cloud and generative AI initiatives Estée Lauder creates chatbot to deliver personalised customer experiences Estée Lauder Companies has created an AI Innovation Lab to leverage Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service technology across at least 20 of its beauty brands. Estée Lauder will work with Microsoft to create “closer consumer connections and increase speed to market with local relevancy”. They will do this via an internal-facing generative AI chatbot to navigate Estée Lauder’s database of product and claim data. They will also apply generative AI tools in research and development for quicker product development. “With Microsoft’s generative AI tools and extensive expertise, we are able to leverage Estée Lauder’s tremendous data to create more personalised consumer experiences and faster insights to action resulting in increased speed to market and stronger local relevancy,” said Jane Lauder, executive vice president of enterprise marketing and chief data officer at Estée Lauder. According to Microsoft’s 2024 Work Trend Index, 46% of AI users have started using AI in the last six months. Published in May 2024, the index found nearly twice as many users are using AI compared with the previous six months. Read more about the 2024 Work Trend Index on page 38 DID YOU KNOW?