Legal Data Co. OpenText Bags SFO For AI Doc Stack Review Work

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced a partnership with US-based legal data company, OpenText, to make use of its Axcelerate AI-driven doc review tool.

The SFO said in a statement that ‘by automating document analysis, AI technology allows the SFO to investigate more quickly, reduce costs and achieve a lower error rate than through the work of human lawyers alone’.

The SFO has used AI tech before, in particular for the now famous Rolls-Royce case, where pre-merger legal AI company RAVN was the provider of AI tools especially in relation to sifting privileged and non-privileged documents.

The Government fraud agency appeared to suggest that iManage/RAVN would continue to be part of its suite of AI technology that it uses and that it will work in conjunction with OpenText to provide a broader combined capability.

It said: ‘OpenText is now being rolled out alongside the robot [sic].’ I.e. the RAVN NLP/machine learning doc review capability.

How exactly the two tech products will fit together was not set out in detail, but presumably they have found a way to integrate the output of both OpenText’s review system and RAVN’s. Although it seems the OpenText focus will perhaps be more on sorting and grouping of docs.

When contacted by Artificial Lawyer, Peter Wallqvist, VP Strategy at iManage had this to say: ‘This [is about] the old eDiscovery platform that they are replacing (Autonomy/HP software). It does not affect that much what we are doing with them.’

The SFO added in a statement: ‘Building on this success [of the Rolls-Royce case], ‘Axcelerate’ a new AI powered document review system from OpenText, is now being rolled out….and will enable SFO case teams to better target their work and time in other aspects of investigative and prosecutorial work.’

‘Previously, only independent barristers were used to comb through thousands of complex documents to identify evidence that could or couldn’t be seen by SFO investigators prior to them even beginning to sift through the documents themselves.’

The new AI document review system be able to recognise patterns, group information by subject, organise timelines, and remove duplicates, it will eventually be able to sift for relevancy thereby removing documents unrelated to an investigation.

SFO’s Chief Technology Officer, Ben Denison said: ‘AI technology will help us to work smarter, faster and more effectively investigate and prosecute economic crime. Using innovative technology like this is no longer optional – it is essential given the volume of material we are dealing with and will help ensure we can continue to meet our disclosure obligations and deliver justice sooner, at significantly lower cost.’

‘The amount of data handled by our digital forensics team has quadrupled in the last year and that trend is continuing upwards as company data grows ever larger,’ he added.

Mark Barrenechea, Vice Chair, CEO and CTO, OpenText, added: ‘Advances in AI technology, the ability to review and analyse vast amounts of information, and provide timely and meaningful insights will forever change the way the legal profession operates. The Serious Fraud Office is leading the way in the use of digital technology to investigate economic crimes, and OpenText is excited to partner with them as they look for truly revolutionary ways to use the lasted advancements across the organisation.’