Mitsui Chemicals and IBM Collaborate on AI New Application Discovery

Mitsui Chemicals and IBM Japan have joined forces to improve agility and accuracy in discovering new applications by combining Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT), a generative AI, with IBM Watson Discovery. This partnership aims to boost sales and market share for Mitsui Chemicals products by advancing digital transformation (DX) in the business domain.

Since June 2022, Mitsui Chemicals has implemented IBM Watson for new application discovery across the entire group. With more than 20 business units utilizing IBM Watson, over 100 new applications have been discovered. In 2023, the company plans to further expand departments using IBM Watson, including R&D and corporate. To facilitate new application discovery, IBM Watson processes over 5 million external big data sources, such as patents, news, and social media posts, and creates a unique dictionary for Mitsui Chemicals products. This enables specialists in sales and business domains to efficiently analyze big data and discover new applications that go beyond human preconceptions and current knowledge.

However, challenges remain in speeding up the discovery process. To address this issue, Mitsui Chemicals and IBM Japan will implement GPT, a generative AI technology, to generate new applications from vast amounts of text data such as patents, news, and social media posts. This will help to clarify the rationale for focusing on new applications and relevant external factors, significantly improving the discovery process’s agility and accuracy.

The two companies have started verification with Microsoft Azure OpenAI for new application discovery. Mitsui Chemicals will identify and extract notable new application candidate data by optimizing the instruction prompt for GPT to meet the purpose of the new application discovery. By applying the data to IBM Watson, even users unfamiliar with the technology can quickly specify keywords for new application discovery. Additionally, the discovery process will be automated, including multimodal SNS videos, and by inputting the information of new applications discovered using IBM Watson into GPT.

By combining generative AI and IBM Watson, Mitsui Chemicals aims to accelerate the process from market development to product development. This will be achieved by integrating data between different departments, such as Line of Business (LOB) and R&D, through the use of Sales Force Automation (SFA), Marketing Automation (MA), Materials Informatics (MI), and Robotics.

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