Deloitte acquired SFL Scientific, a leading AI and data science strategy consulting firm. The move is particularly interesting as SFL helped the NLP-run CLM company LinkSquares to handle machine learning, though the contract management company said Artificial lawyer tonight that they ultimately decided to bring AI development in-house in 2019 and that “no aspect of SFL’s technology remains anywhere in our platform today.”
In a fascinating blog post about Amazon Web Services (AWS), Michael Lukechief technology officer at SFL Scientific, wrote: “LinkSquares built its initial prototype using SQL running on AWS, but does not use any machine learning technology.
“We learned about the team’s vision to process terms and language automatically and understood the pain points of the business. We proposed building a custom machine learning solution to help the team scale and improve accuracy.’
The AWS blog post (see here) then explained that: “One month after their initial engagement, the data scientists at SFL conducted a proof of concept, showing the LinkSquares team how they could deploy a scalable, automated analytics solution using machine learning on AWS.
“SFL Scientific used natural language processing (NLP), an artificial intelligence method that helps computers understand and interpret human language, to build its machine learning algorithm. Implementing the algorithm allowed LinkSquares’ software to extract key terms from a document and tokenize those terms into predefined categories. When deployed in AWS, the algorithm executes the code on demand. Each time a document is uploaded, the machine learning code is automatically run.’
In short, without SFL’s input then, LinkSquares’ NLP journey may have been a bit different, although as the company noted, they ultimately chose to go their own way in terms of AI development.
What does it all mean? Although Deloitte has not specified which domains it wants to use SFL’s capabilities for, it shows that the group’s skills can be used in the legal field.
If this group’s AI skills were to be used in the legal field by Deloitte, what would they use it for? The most likely area is to help with large-scale CLM consulting projects where Deloitte works with third-party vendors. For example, Deloitte, plus the SFL team, do legal operations and NLP/contract data consulting, while an external third party, whether a large CLM or other contract management tool developer, provides the software framework.
However, while Deloitte – and all of the Big Four – may be very good at cross-selling and providing a multi-disciplinary approach to clients (especially for the largest clients with large consulting needs), there is no guarantee that this will happen in this case. For now, it’s just a possibility – but a tantalizing one.
For its part, Deloitte said: “Combining SFL Scientific’s deep scientific and analytical knowledge with Deloitte’s breadth of AI capabilities and industry depth and expertise further positions Deloitte as a leader in AI, enhancing its ability to deliver transformations driven by AI for customers, and is accelerating growth in its US AI market share.
While Dan Helfrichchairman and CEO, Deloitte Consulting, said: “As our clients advance their enterprise AI journeys, they need the comprehensive and sophisticated experience that SFL Scientific provides.
“The acquisition builds on an already strong relationship between our two organizations serving both commercial and public sector clients. Additionally, it will help us advise clients on the best approach to how AI can help transform their business, deploy scalable capabilities to drive that transformation, and provide ongoing support to continually improve technology investments. inspired by AI.
While, Michael SegalaCEO of SFL, concluded: “Combining our high-caliber AI talent with Deloitte’s extensive knowledge and implementation capabilities is the catalyst to accelerate solving scientific and operational challenges with AI.”
In addition, a LinkSquares spokesperson commented, “LinkSquares is engaged with SFL Scientific for a limited scope prototype in 2019. Ultimately, LinkSquares decided that the SFL prototype was not the foundation we needed ….. The company implemented all AI development in 2019, and no aspect of SFL’s technology remains anywhere in our platform today .