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LegalApril 05, 2024

Top 3 findings from IDC’s brief on generative and traditional AI

In their recent analyst brief entitled GenAI Is Coming, But AI Is Already Helping Legal Departments Transform Now, industry analyst IDC makes it clear that there is no need to wait for the upcoming wave of generative AI (GenAI) tools to revolutionize corporate legal because traditional AI is already doing it. Here are three top takeaways from IDC’s brief:

GenAI isn’t the only AI that can help legal departments

GenAI, which uses unsupervised and semi-supervised algorithms to generate new content based on existing content on which it has been trained, has been getting an extraordinary amount of attention for the last year or so. There’s good reason for that because there is significant potential for this technology to assist legal teams with tasks like document generation.

However, GenAI and the tools that leverage it, are still new enough that it is not yet widely trusted or used within the legal profession. Alongside the newly emerging uses for GenAI, there are a host of well-established AI tools that are already helping legal departments increase their efficiency and improve their business results. For example, machine learning and predictive AI tools have been used for several years by legal departments seeking to improve efficiency and decision-making.

Processing data quickly is a key benefit of AI

Very large amounts of data that need to be understood and acted upon can create bottlenecks for people. The human capacity for data processing is limited and, as a result, is not scalable without greatly increasing staff size as the amount of data to be addressed increases. However, introducing AI tools can yield a huge increase in processing power for existing staff levels. AI is therefore an ideal fit for legal e-billing and invoice review particularly.

Legal bills for the typical corporate legal department contain an overwhelming amount of information for a human legal professional. But the right AI tools can take in that data, process it, and yield insights that help improve the staff’s visibility into and control of their legal spend. By reducing outside counsel billing errors, AI-driven invoice review can capture savings in the millions of dollars for many legal departments.

In addition to the hard savings of avoiding overbilling with improved billing guideline compliance, this use of AI also allows busy in-house attorneys and legal operations staff to devote their time to higher-value tasks. The increased efficiency and productivity further drive improvements in department performance.

Choose a technology partner wisely

Any legal department seeking to prepare for and begin its AI transformation can do so today by selecting the right tools and vendor partners for their specific needs. In order to optimize operations and take advantage of AI’s possibilities, it may be necessary to upgrade portions of the legal technology stack. When doing this, it is critical that organizations carefully evaluate potential vendor partners to ensure they meet the department’s immediate and evolving needs.

For example, some companies may choose to outsource an AI-driven legal bill review process, while others may have, or be willing to ramp up, sufficient internal staff for the function. Legal teams should be sure to select a vendor that can implement an AI solution in the specific way that works best for them.

In addition, it is important to consider how a potential vendor curates and maintains the data that drives their AI software. A vendor’s AI technology is only reliable if it is trained on high-quality, trustworthy data of sufficient breadth and scope. It is wise to choose software providers that manage billions of dollars of anonymized data with real-time benchmarking and reliable security.

To read more about the ways AI can contribute to improved legal operations even while GenAI tools continue to be developed and build trust, download the report GenAI Is Coming, But AI Is Already Helping Legal Departments Transform Now.

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