Global law firm Clyde & Co has gone outside of the usual stable of legal AI companies to work with Houston-based Neural Vision Technologies (NVT), an American AI company with a focus on computer vision that is not that well known in legal circles. It will assist the firm’s Data Lab with ‘the development of machine learning proofs of concept’ with a focus on record retrieval and analysis of document collections.
In short this is a legal data/doc stack analysis tool – with a clear focus on handling larger collections of documents. That makes the move unexpected, as there are probably more than a dozen legal AI companies in the market that could help with such a task. However, NVT’s focus is on visual appearance of texts, rather than traditional NLP.
It reminds Artificial Lawyer a little bit of the rapid doc sorting capability that Luminance has already built into its offering.
This is what NVT says of itself: ‘[We have] a novel visual search engine which captures the visual appearance of a document page and finds other document pages which are similar in appearance. Highly accurate, it has no reliance on text and is purposefully simple in design. NVT VISTA emulates the way a human sees and remembers what a document looks like.’
‘Most documents have a distinctive visual appearance and are recognizable as being the same record, report, form or template type. For many corporations and law firms, this is a very useful tool for searching large volumes of documents and document pages for record types of interest.’
‘Current methods to search for specific record types rely on key words usually found as part of file name, or by searching the text of document contents. These methods usually fail because file names are imprecise or meaningless and content text searches yield incomplete results or overwhelm users with false positives. Many times, individual documents are combined into a single PDF making their presence opaque. NVT VISTA yields highly accurate results and leads to more efficient and timely search completions.’
“…content text searches yield incomplete results or overwhelm users with false positives”
So, there you go. That said, it’s still a surprise. Clyde & Co has a well-developed tech team, so if they’re going down this road with NVT then they clearly believe it’s better in some ways than the alternatives.
This all just goes to show that the moment you think the market is stable, something comes along to shake things up a little.
Nadine Bairle, Global Head of Legal Technology at Clyde & Co, said: ‘This product will help us in our machine learning projects by enabling us to identify our data more efficiently and use it to deliver new insights and more value to our clients.’
Brent Stanley, CEO of NVT, said: ‘NVT’s relationship with Clyde & Co is proof that we can bring significant value to firms’ innovation projects. Improved efficiencies are constantly desired in the legal operations space and are part of the trend in legal tech. Clyde & Co is exploring what are leading edge technologies in this space.’
The Data Lab is part of Clyde & Co’s focus on innovation, led by the firm’s Innovation Board. Last month the firm launched a first-of-its kind connected parametric insurance contract for use by insurers through its smart contract consultancy, Clyde Code, which launched in 2017.