Is Audio Transcription The Easiest NLP Win You Can Get in Legal?

Today, data analysis company, Veritone, has released a new version of its software that can help lawyers auto-transcribe sound files and then do entity searches on the resulting text. But, that’s not the most interesting thing here.

There are several legal transcription services out there, using varying degrees of human input and NLP tech to power them. What struck Artificial Lawyer was this comment from their spokesperson in an email to this site:

‘[In one example] Veritone…reduced legal review hours by 99% – bringing down 33,000 hours of evidentiary audio to 140 hours. The original cost of the project was estimated at $16.5 million, but using Veritone’s AI technology, it was reduced to just $5,000.’

The bit about $16.5m to $5,000 is the part that really stands out. No doubt Veritone’s tech does the job, but the cost-saving is the real takeaway here.

When clients are perhaps a bit unsure whether automation is really of much use, then here’s a nice price quote that proves its value. And, for once it’s not about document review for M&A, for example, it’s about audio evidence.

Of course, maybe law firms don’t want that massive price saving? Much depends on how a client has priced in the work of the transcription. But, if there are cost pressures there, and/or margins on the matter to protect, then this has got to be impactful.

Although, it’s worth adding: all that time saving is only really of great value if the results are accurate and haven’t missed out key information. That said, Veritone has been around for a while, since 2014, so they must be getting it right sufficiently enough times to keep people happy.

The new Veritone Illuminate ‘automatically transcribes and translates unstructured data, including audio, video and text-based electronically stored information (ESI) and ….makes the data easily searchable, while providing text analytics capabilities that allow users to visually explore entities,’ the company explains.

The results can be exported into a customer’s eDiscovery platform of choice – such as Relativity, Nuix/Ringtail, Opentext and iConnect, they add.

Chris Ricciuti, Vice President of Product Management for Legal & Compliance at Veritone, said: ‘Legal and government agency customers have indicated that it is typical to have terabytes of information that must be processed and reviewed. Veritone Illuminate can…. reduce associated costs dramatically.’

In short, if you’re looking for a quick win when it comes to automation and the leveraging of NLP, this does seem a compelling way to start. GCs may not care too much about the finer points of AI technology, but they do care about total expenditure.