Telus International, a Telus subsidiary that offers global customer service outsourcing and digital IT services, has acquired Lionbridge AI for CA$1.2 billion.

Lionbridge AI is a subdivision of Lionbridge Technologies that specializes in data collection annotation, validation, and linguistics, all of which fall under Telus International’s service wheelhouse. In the acquisition press release, Telus International specifically addressed Lionbridge AI’s annotation solution, a data labelling system for texts, images and videos in different languages so they can be used with AI systems.

“With the addition of Lionbridge AI, Telus International will further progress its penetration of the fast-growing new economy services market that will enable our team to support important AI applications as demand for high-quality, multilingual data annotation continues to increase,” said Darren Entwistle, Telus CEO in a statement. “As a unified team and company, we will be strongly positioned to meet the end-to-end needs of today’s technology hyperscalers and industry disruptors in machine learning and AI systems to develop smarter products and services, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”

Between 2017 to 2018, Telus launched its AI chatbot to answer basic service related inquiries that would otherwise be directed to its call centres. The company said earlier this year that the chatbot has offloaded more than 4.1 million calls and has been praised by both its customers and its employees.

The deal is expected to close on Dec. 31, 2020.

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