Kheng Ho Toh
The founders of outsourcing company New Galaxy have created what they claim is the first end-to-end artificially intelligent contract analysis. Currently deployed at a large multinational global infrastructure company, E:V, pronounced Eve, can undertake all functions of a human - from contract analysis, reading, interpreting, analysing and reporting on key contract information. According to Sarvarth Misra, executive director of New Galaxy, like Google and Siri, a user will be able to ask a question about the contract such as 'What is my liability cap under this contract? Or what are my change control provisions in all our contracts with ABC Inc?'
Legal pyramid disruption
E:V will truly cause disruption to the overall legal pyramid model, Mr Misra said. 'Effectively, “machine” replaces human effort for the contract analyst role in a significant manner. It makes the in-house legal team better, more effective and more efficient. Certainly, there are AI technologies which can help read and analyse contracts and report back key obligations - but the full managed piece is the world’s first. Plus the AI technology empowering the solution (IBM Watson) makes it a game changer.'
The new software is a development of the company's ContractPod® products and is part of the rapidly developing contract analyst sector, worth in the region of US$20 billion. Mr Mistra said: 'AI was the missing link and we wanted to make sure our AI product would be truly world class giving very high level of accuracy so that its within our growth plan. E:V does that and we’ve used best data scientist, developers and the best in class AI technology (IBM WATSON and WIT) with a lot sophisticated code and taken 6 months of senior commercial lawyers to train the system.'
He added that the big differentiator and advantage which an in-house team gets with E:V is that 'it has configured and in-built machine learning. We’ve spent six months in perfecting the system (so that we can offer the highest accuracy levels)- and used senior commercial lawyers (not just techies) to train the system on contract law and ensured that from day one the AI results starts showing. Unlike some of the systems, clients will not have to spend 3-6 months of time and money to train systems in contracts for the AI to kick-in. For the objects which are pre-defined within E:V, the results will kick in on day one. This allows in-house teams to go from 0% AI to very high levels of AI on the first day.'
Mr Misra said the company was charging on a fixed fee model. 'Of course the fee depends upon the user number but in essence legal departments can on-board the technology from fixed fee starting at £20,000 a year.That now makes AI technology very affordable for in-house counsel - and makes the solution extremely scalable. It also won't take in-house counsel very long now to show instant return on investment (ROI) to the business.'
Contract management system
ContractPod is, says Mr Misra, one of the fastest growing contract management systems in the world for in-house counsel. 'In the last six months itself, we have successfully ran over 25 digital transformation contract management programmes for in-house counsel in the UK and this number is exponentially growing quarter on quarter. But like any fast track business, we want to be ahead of the curve from a technology stand point.'