Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing at a phenomenal speed (think, for example, of driverless cars, or, simply, interaction with the personal assistant on your smartphone) and is now set to transform the legal industry by mining documents, reviewing and creating contracts, raising red flags and performing due diligence.
We are enthusiastic early adopters of AI and other advanced technology tools to enable us to deliver a better service to our clients.
In this paper, we look at the current state of the market and explore how things will develop in the coming months and years.
NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING
This technology is able to comprehend language in its natural form (whether that
is a legal contract or a spoken question).
Early attempts to program a computer to understand language involved a series of rules. While this is fine for some basic concepts, it becomes complicated as you cater for exceptions to the rules.
Increasing computer power means that instead of trying to codify thought processes as rules, the latest machine learning tools use statistical pattern recognition techniques to create their own rules (known as predictive algorithms) from large volumes of examples.
For example, if you show such a system a collection of documents and their translations into another language, the system can determine the statistical patterns between the documents and work out how to translate from one language to the other, without having to understand what the individual words mean or the underlying rules of grammar.
Ediscovery software tools have been available for some time to help legal teams with document management and review. The current generation of ediscovery software includes machine learning functionality that enables technology‑assisted review (also known as predictive coding).
This takes place in the context of litigation or investigations and involves the analysis of large collections of electronically stored information, to determine which documents are responsive to a