A Higher Form of Intelligence

The Serious Fraud Office has announced that it used artificial intelligence (AI) software to review documents in the investigation in corruption at Rolls Royce.

The software was able to review up to 600,000 documents a day with greater accuracy compared to lawyers who can only review 3,000 documents a day. The result is that the review process is completed more quickly and at considerable less cost.

The software has algorithms built in to recognise documents that are legally privileged (i.e confidential between companies and their legal advisers) and looked for key words, the recipient and even the time of day that they were issued. The software is also sophisticated enough to spot documents that may be privileged and highlights them for review by a lawyer.

In this case both sides agreed to the use of the software and going forward it is likely that it will be used more frequently – particularly when investigation financial crime which typically involves large amounts of paperwork. Law firms are also starting to use this type of software as a way of removing the lower end drudgery work which then frees up their highly experienced lawyers to focus on the better paid work. Deloitte forecasts that it could lead to the loss of 114,000 jobs in the legal sector in the next 20 years.

Mark Bishop, professor of Cognitive Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, said “AI could make significant advances in these fields in the coming years but it’s important it’s only used in an advisory role and not to replace human judgement”.

James Rann, 28 June 2017
CEO of Warren’s Law and Advocacy

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