A Visionary par excellence Mr. Praveen Kulkarni is the Co-Founder and Director at PracticeLeague LegalTech – an innovative legal technology company operating in India, APAC, Africa and Europe. Before founding PracticeLeague in 2016, Praveen worked as the Director at Uberall Solutions for over two decades. With a bachelor’s in engineering from Karnatak University, Praveen has always been keen on the technical functioning of systems. His curiosity for finding the most effortless solution for a problem has been a key driver in conceptualizing PracticeLeague and has contributed to its success. Over the course of his enterprising career, Praveen has led all his teams by example. His role at PracticeLeague includes strategizing and innovation, conflict resolution, goal setting, morale building and so much more. He is also actively involved in the technical side of the business and is constantly encouraging the team to innovate and develop new systems that can further enhance PracticeLeague’s position in the industry. Having identified a need gap in the legal tech sector, Praveen along with his co-founder Mr Chanchani were able to leverage on the existing challenges in the industry with a first-mover advance.
Commonly referred to as AI, Artificial Intelligence, is one of the ‘in-vogue’ terms in technology and business domains alike. From a business leaders’ perspective, the question that arises is how exactly does AI benefit the business? The reason for such a train of thought is that while the term AI is prevalent, the direct linkage between the technology and the business itself is not comprehensive. However, this connection between the technology and its end-user takeaways is vital in driving its adoption.
In layman’s words, AI refers to machine programming that can perform tasks requiring human intelligence. This field brings together computers, data, and software programs, to enable problem-solving, typically, problems that would require at least some level of human intervention. This is a vast field and includes well-known Machine Learning & Deep Learning in addition to Natural Language Processing, Data Mining, and Image Processing.
Business functions generate oceans of data from all their component functions in the information age. Thus, any technology that can help make sense of and then give value-adding insights is sure to have a massive impact. Given that AI deals with the intersection of computing power and data, it will have a lasting and defining influence on organizations.
The applications of this technology extend across functions and departments. First, let us look at the impact on business from the perspective of the legal function. Given that we are in the information age, there are a few subfields that we need to understand to appreciate the benefits.
- Extraction of Smart Fields: Making sense of the garnered data and applying AI to develop futuristic data fields
- Summarising Work: Getting at the implied meaning in text and data in summary form
- Document Review – Assessing the information against your standards
- Analytics: Developing insights from data
- Legal Bots: Automated Chatbots adapted to Legal work with an AI base. These are what convert data into streams of actionable intelligence!
Extraction of Smart Fields
As stated above, any organization generates tonnes of data; some of that data is interconnected. Within this, many interdependencies can be discovered. ‘Smart Fields’ refers to discovering contextual relationships within seemingly diverse sets of data. This can reveal insightful correlations, trends, etc., thus providing actionable insights. In short, this means converting data into actionable information.
Example: Organizing different contracts by “Type” or “Date of Contracts” or “Name of Parties” can give you an idea of your contracting database. With the help of AI, this administrative task of organizing the contracts and getting an overview simultaneously becomes very easy.
Summarising a long body of text for decision-makers is a trying task, even for humans at the best of times. As text tends to contain deeper meanings, text summarization is the functionality of discovering these connections to deliver the accurate implied summary. In addition, there is abstractive text summarization at the advanced level, wherein implied meanings and associations are found – for example, in legal contract analysis or legal research. For example, gaining an overview of the contract portfolio for a particular client can be done in minutes using AI. The data collected, like the total number of contracts of a specific client, provide a quick summary of your client’s business.
On a day-to-day basis, lawyers review documents, make comments and redlines, and advise clients on whether it is good to sign as-is or if they need to negotiate better terms with the other party. Reviewing contracts/documents is a time-consuming process. According to Gartner, in-house legal departments spend half of their time reviewing contracts.
AI can expedite the contract review processes by classifying them, analyzing them, and defining the problematic parts by assessing them against the standard playbook set by the companies apart from identifying the risks and obligations within contracts.
In simple words, analytics is the discovery of relationships, their examination and presentation in a legible and impactful form. This is the domain where you discover trends and patterns in your data and deduce the findings in an easily accessible format allowing you to make accurate decisions.
Example: With an overview of contracts, you can analyze and improve the turnaround time for contracts, get an insight if there are any hurdles in the process, legal issues most frequently redlined or negotiated and help your legal team with data and actionable items to help them improve their performance and efficiencies.
Lawbots or Legalbots are a broad class of customer-facing legal AI applications that automate specific legal tasks, such as document automation and legal research. The terms robot lawyer and lawyer bot are used as synonyms to lawbot. In simple words, it is a software that gets into a conversation using audio and/or text interfaces. Their uses vary from filling out forms, complaint response mechanisms, answering client or other inbound calls, PR questions. They also have the capacity for automated document generation. In addition, some law bots can undertake admin tasks like sending out various updates like court dates.
The Business Advantage of Artificial Intelligence
Modern business is all about data – data from sales, procurement, manufacturing, finance, legal, etc.; all functions. And AI is a field, to coin a new way to put it. By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, legal firms can make sense of the data that is constantly being thrown their way and subsequently learn how to use it. The marriage of these two is the proverbial match conceptualized in heaven.
All business functions on decisions. Nowadays, the manager needs smart data that is immediately interpreted and actionable more than ever before. A strongly correlated, connected data without any redundancy, which is accurate yet agile, enables fast, precise decisions. This is a must in today’s constantly changing world. This organizational journey from Data to Information is the domain of Artificial Intelligence. It is humanly impossible for a human to do this manually or using excel sheets on millions of data points.
Benefits and Advantages
An R Glenister statement springs to mind; fast processes operating on clean data are keys to the success of AI; this applies to business equally well. A clean non-redundant relevant information flow removes operational hiccups speeds up the processes while reducing errors and eliminating redundancies, resulting in:
- Reduction of errors
- Reduction of process costs
- Increase efficiency
- Functional Insights, for example, consumer insights
- Improved and highly contextual customer communication
- These help in the balance three clear benefits, namely:
- An improved customer experience
- Resulting in greater customer loyalty and higher revenues.
At this point, we need to establish clearly that technology alone is not the answer. Instead, it is the technology, its implementation, the strategy behind that implementation, and rapid user adoption for meeting the objective that contributes to the above benefits.
As we have seen above, AI impacts almost every business function, from Sales to Finance. From the contract example alone, we can see that AI enables faster processes with higher accuracy. This tends to increase efficiency and productivity at a granular level within organizations. In addition, the more profound insights from the analytics engine and the predictive information all come together to provide needed timely information to support decisions.
Both of these factors are what combine to create a highly responsive customer-centric organization. However, the smaller parts come together to create one agile and responsive organization suited to the volatile, uncertain, ambiguous, and complex world that now faces us in the business. This world functions on information – which is the foundation of the AI technology itself: AI is just a journey from data to information in its simplest, most basic form.