Publicis Sapient takes on full stake in Publicis Sapient AI Labs

29 May 2023 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read

As it seeks to bolster its digital business transformation services, Publicis Sapient has purchased a full stake in an AI Lab it partnered to establish. Publicis Sapient provides large enterprises globally and the move will deepen the company’s data science talent bench.

One of the most intensely hyped technological developments of recent years is artificial intelligence (AI). With businesses around the world currently scrambling to deploy AI solutions that can automate traditionally human roles including everything from administration to consulting itself, professional services firms are themselves participating in a gold rush, to present themselves as the advisors of choice for deploying the technology.

To that end, Publicis Sapient has announced it has taken a full stake of Publicis Sapient AI Labs – an AI research and development joint venture, which it launched in partnership with Elder Research and Tquila back in 2020. The move strengthens Publicis Sapient’s data and AI capabilities, by taking full control of the organisation. A statement from the company suggests this will it to develop “innovative solutions” across industries for a wide range of applications, including “generative AI, natural language processing (NLP), computer vision and autonomous systems”.

Publicis Sapient takes on full stake in Publicis Sapient AI Labs

“As a digital business transformation company, Publicis Sapient actively partners with its clients to transform their businesses and build a competitive advantage through digital and data,” commented Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis Sapient. “The acquisition of Publicis Sapient AI Labs will accelerate our generative AI offerings, playing a critical role in enabling our clients to apply data and AI solutions to solve complex business problems and build data-driven organisations at scale.” 

Originally founded in 1990, Publicis Sapient is a global digital transformation consulting company. As part of the digital business transformation hub of Publicis Groupe, it is part of a worldwide network with 20,000 people and over 50 offices. The transformation consultancy has previously worked with a number of the UK’s largest businesses when building digital infrastructure – from British Gas, to McDonalds, and Asda.

Professionals from Publicis Sapient AI Labs will now become part of the company's existing data and AI practitioners, supporting client enterprises as they enter the era of advanced analytics, data-driven insights and intelligent solutions. With organisations worldwide exploring the transformative potential of generative AI, Publicis Sapient will provide its clients multiple services to transform their businesses, including the conduction of workshops uncovering opportunities enabled by AI, prototyping and rapid proof of value, and training programmes.

The move will foster further collaborations with Publicis Sapient’s alliance partners, including Microsoft, Google and Amazon to train and fine tune large language models. Looking ahead, the Publicis Sapient AI Labs offering will also maintain its partnership with Elder Research – which has some 28 years of expertise in the multidisciplinary fields of data science, AI and machine learning – and Tquila, with its record of hiring and rapidly scaling new technology services practices worldwide. 

“Elder Research is proud to have contributed to the success of Publicis Sapient AI Labs through our expertise in data science and AI,” said Gerhard Pilcher, CEO of Elder Research. “We’re thrilled by this acquisition and will continue to help organizations build their own analytic capabilities so they can successfully harness the power of data in the new information frontier.” 

Elder Research has enabled hundreds of organisations to make better decisions and maximise the value of their data through strategy, solution development, and training. Meanwhile, Tquila is a global technology venture company founded by James McHugh in 2010, which invests in companies from start-up through to post-series A, either as stand-alone entities or with co-investment from consulting firms and software companies.