Shawn Lim
May 30, 2024

Grab integrates OpenAI technology into its platform

Aside from making an impact on accessibility, customer support, and mapping, OpenAI's generative AI technology has the potential to impact Grab's advertising tools like retail media.

Grab integrates OpenAI technology into its platform

Singapore-based technology platform Grab has announced a partnership with OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT. The partnership will see OpenAI blend AI tool development for Grab users and partners with the initial implementation of ChatGPT Enterprise specifically for Grab's staff to boost productivity. 

Grab can use OpenAI’s generative AI tools for accessibility by integrating advanced text and voice features to aid users, especially those who are visually impaired or elderly, who might struggle with traditional app interfaces. In addition, Grab plans to develop AI-driven customer support chatbots to improve problem-resolution efficiency.  

For mapping, Grab intends to use OpenAI's vision technology to automate and refine the process of data extraction from images, with the intention of speeding up updates for GrabMaps.

“We have been a pioneer of AI adoption in the region and believe that generative AI has a lot of potential to further transform the way we solve problems for our partners and users,” said Philipp Kandal, chief product officer at Grab. 

“We are excited to work with OpenAI as a partner to help accelerate the exploration and use of this technology within Grab. Our goal with any new technology has always been to use it to solve real problems, at scale. Equipped with the latest tools, we look forward to building novel and delightful experiences for our customers while improving the way that every Grabber works.” 

When it comes to advertising, Campaign understands as the industry embraces generative AI's evolving capabilities, Grab sees a partnership with OpenAI as an opportunity to refine algorithms, ranking engines, and generative AI tools. Grab hopes this collaboration could transform ad placements, especially in enhancing accessibility.  

Innovative advertising methods could be applied to its retail-media offerings, such as voice-activated prompts that offer contextual promotions. For example, a voice prompt might suggest adding onion rings to a burger order at a discounted price.

OpenAI recently expanded into Asia Pacific by establishing its inaugural regional office in Tokyo, Japan. This strategic move aims to enhance partnerships with local entities and capitalise on new business opportunities. The Tokyo office, led by Tadao Nagasaki, a former executive at Amazon Web Services Japan, will focus on nurturing relationships with key clients like Toyota Motor and Daikin Industries.  

In addition, OpenAI also recently hired Jake Wilczynski from Airbnb to lead communications in APAC, based in Singapore. Wilczynski spent seven years at Airbnb and last led policy communications for the platform. 

Aside from Grab, another significant partnership that OpenAI recently formed with was News Corp to allow its large language models (LLM) like ChatGPT to access and learn information from publications like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Times, the Sunday Times, Barron’s, MarketWatch, and others. 

What it means for brands in the future

LLM technology will also be significant for retail media—a large part of ecommerce platforms like Grab and Foodpanda’s business—and is projected to be worth $4.7 billion in SEA by 2030. 

Generative AI can enable retailers and advertisers to enhance their banner ad campaigns on ecommerce platforms with greater creativity and efficiency. This technology automates the creation of visually appealing banner ads, tailored to each retailer's style guide, reducing the time and effort required for manual adjustments.  

Additionally, it supports smaller advertisers by simplifying campaign execution, thereby increasing participation and potentially boosting revenue. AI-driven tools streamline the creative process, from initial design to final approval, and can optimise live campaigns based on performance metrics like click-through and conversion rates, eliminating the need for manual A/B testing. 

“I can envision a path where LLM can extend itself in later phases for platforms like Grab to retail media to improve upon ad campaign optimisation, creative asset generation, forecasting, and providing insights to brands and merchants in a more intuitive manner,” Niraj Nagpal, an adtech consultant, told Campaign

Campaign Asia

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