Like it or not, we’re moving into a more automated era in both business and home life, with technology like Amazon’s “Alexa” Echo already becoming part of daily routines. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to shape and accelerate the way we handle information and process data, this advancement is also leading to increased business efficiency.
According to a recent Accenture study, AI has the potential to increase rates of return by US$14 trillion in gross value added (GVA) by 2035. In statistics published in the same report, only the financial services industry can capitalize on AI technologies to “relieve workers of mundane and repetitive tasks such as generic customer inquiries and mortgage reviews,” benefiting from an additional $1.2 trillion in GVA by 2035.
When it was initially invented, there were fears that Artificial Intelligence could take full control and dominate content production like the novel typewriters in 1984 by George Orwell. However, this technology is proving to be a game changer, with an uptick in AI adoption. showing that any initial fear around has been effectively overcome.
Technological progression is nothing new and nothing to fear: since the industrial revolution of the late 1700s, the world has seen factory jobs replaced by robotics, typewriters replaced by PCs, and many more examples of technological advances. . It has often been assumed that the roles humans play are somewhat safe, secure, and irreplaceable for tasks that are driven by data, intellect, and language, such as creating contracts and other legal documentation. This is still true to some extent, but many barriers around logic are being overcome through more intelligent use of document automation.
Advanced productivity tools in the AI landscape within the legal world have led to increased optimism and positivity as technology now has the power to analyze documents and sift through them for relevant information to perform basic human tasks. This AI technique is known as natural language processing and is used to scan, extract information, and then accurately predict only information that is only relevant to certain cases or legal claims.
This positivity around data-rich businesses powering AI is backed up by legal giant, Baker McKenzie, who states that: “despite previous advice of hype, several commentators believe the renewed interest in AI is warranted.” Continued and rapid advances in computing power, as well as dramatic declines in the cost of computing have led to an explosion in the amount and availability of data, all of which becomes fodder for optimizing AI algorithms.” .
Confidence in AI-powered technology has continued to develop over the last decade, with a number of multinational banks and law firms adopting the technology. Some of the world’s most innovative companies in these sectors have already implemented automatic contract analysis and automatic document production tools. Data can now be routinely extracted and documents created quickly and in an error-free format, helping to achieve compliance and minimize risk.
Dana Remus, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, and Frank Levy, a labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, looked at the top automation opportunities available to lawyers at large law firms. Their article concluded that the immediate implementation of all new legal technology would result in an estimate that the technology could free up lawyers’ hours by 13%.
Their research also suggested that basic document review has already been outsourced or automated at large law firms, with only 4% of lawyers’ time currently spent on this task.
There are a number of software companies providing the pioneering technology to enable the integration of machine learning and automated document production and analysis, including: Kira, Cognitiv+, eBrevia, Luminance and Leverton.
One of the world’s top ten law firms has recently launched an innovative example of the joint use of Kira and document automation for a matter involving a client facing thousands of dispute-related claims. Kira automatically pulled information from an in-house developed case management system, sent key information to document automation software that then generated the documents the client needed. The law firm’s innovation team found that the combination of technologies created an agile, end-to-end solution by harmonizing an AI and document automation approach.
Another successful example of similar automation technology being harnessed includes MarginMatrix, a joint venture between Allen & Overy and Deloitte, which automatically drafts legal documents to help banks comply with new financial regulations. The tool reportedly reduces the time required to manually manage 10,000 contracts (on average, what any major bank has) over 15 years in attorney hours to just 12 weeks.
This automation and machine learning approach was also implemented at JPMorgan Chase & Co., to analyze financial deals. The COIN program, for Contract Intelligence, performs the repetitive task of interpreting commercial loan agreements that, until the project went online in June, consumed 360,000 man-hours each year by lawyers and loan officers. The software reviews documents in seconds, is less error-prone, and never asks for annual leave.
Commercial banks and law firms are under more pressure than ever to “mass-produce” contracts, loan agreements and complex documents, increasing the risk of incorrect information and data errors. Through the use of AI and the automatic generation of contracts and agreements, the difficulties of creating legal documentation are reduced and the production rate increases dramatically.
The world is also constantly demanding cheaper, faster and better delivery models. Recent developments give us much to be positive about in the coming years for this to happen and we need to realize that full automation will not happen overnight. Combining existing practices in document automation with AI will continue to reap rewards in efficiency. Coexistence is the best way forward and the AI isn’t here to steal your job, well at least not for a while…