Google Moves Deeper Into Contract Analysis, As Ironclad Launches ‘Smart Import’

Building on the relationship with Google Cloud for its AI capabilities, which Artificial Lawyer covered back in June this year, CLM company Ironclad has now formally launched what it is calling its ‘Smart Import’ function for analysing contracts and extracting key data with NLP.

The move also importantly builds upon Google’s new ‘Contract DocAI’, the latest addition to its NLP solution and which was unveiled in October. This is a capability specifically designed for contract analysis and brings it really into the legal tech world….as where else is the analysis of contracts quite so central?

This is how Google explains things: ‘Contract DocAI, now in preview, adds to Google Cloud’s Document AI solution, a scalable cloud-based AI platform to help businesses efficiently scan, analyse, and understand documents. Contract DocAI brings new features purpose-built for the most important and complicated documents of all: contracts. It lets users extract insights from the unstructured text in contracts, helping to accelerate contract lifecycles and reduce the cost of contract processing.’

Using this, Ironclad’s Smart Import enables companies to ‘ingest contract documents from anywhere and automatically classify, extract and schematize all key pieces of data from the contracts’.

We can see this as part of the ongoing battle between CLM companies to get ahead of each other when it comes to extracting key contract data. Last month, rival Evisort announced a ‘self-populating dashboard’, where its NLP can extract data without human intervention. (At the time this site was a bit doubtful how that can reach the needed 99% accuracy without human quality control.)

Cai GoGwilt, Ironclad CTO and co-founder, said: ‘By partnering with Google Cloud, we’ve been able to focus on extracting more value for our customers with its best-in-class AI, rather than pursuing AI innovation ourselves. With Smart Import, we’ve helped our customers gain more access, visibility and insights for all their contracts, which enables them to make better, faster decisions. Our customers can now upload contracts 75% faster while saving up to 40% on costs.’ 

‘Bit for bit, contracts are one of the most valuable types of documents,’ added Vinod Valloppillil, Head of product management for language and vision for Google Cloud, ‘which is why we’re partnering with Ironclad to solve digital contract management.’

Is this a big deal? As mentioned, it’s part of the wider battle around CLM positioning. What is perhaps more of a story is the rise and rise of Google-driven contract analytics. I.e. Google is now not just offering some vanilla NLP for texts in general, it’s offering something specifically built for contract review.