China has drastically changed the beauty industry, online sales and technology over the past few years. So much so that Western companies are constantly looking over their corporate shoulders.

Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, has hailed AI (artificial intelligence) and data as “the next big revolution” for the global beauty industry, following the digital boom of the past decade.

L’Oréal and Kering, the world’s second largest luxury goods group after LVMH, which owns the Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga luxury fashion brands, are two of the five founding sponsors of the new Hi! Paris Research Centre.

Supported by the Haute Ecole de Commerce, the MIT of France, and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, the world-class engineering school, the centre claims to be the first inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional centre in Europe, focusing on AI and data.

Other founding sponsors are – Total, one  of the seven “Supermajor” oil companies in the world, Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation with a presence in more than 50 countries, including Australia, and Rexel, the giant French electric supply company.

Europe is also hoping to emulate US success in AI and data and the new centre will recruit 30 professors and 150 doctorate students.

L’Oréal, the world’s biggest beauty company, has long been an AI and digital leader in the cosmetics industry.

It is super important to prepare employees, train young people, and be able to bring about this revolution in our company and all companies, adds Jean-Paul Agon.

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