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The Times They Are A Changin' – Also in eDiscovery!

Jeffrey Wolff
Feb 22, 2019, 1:00:00 PM

The ABA Techshow in Chicago is probably going to be one of the most exiting ones in years. We have seen a major technology boost in the legal community, eDiscovery in particular.

eDiscovery technology is no longer expensive or hard to use. SaaS and Artificial Intelligence are changing our world, also in eDiscovery. Transparent pricing and predictable budgeting are becoming the standard, as are secure SaaS operations which no longer require law firms to buy software, hardware or to run complex IT projects. SaaS operations allow for processing to scale as needed almost infinitely and you only pay for what we use, not a dime more.

But what really has changed the eDiscovery world, has been the ability to upload data by just using a browser and start reviewing almost immediately: “Do It Yourself” (DIY) functionality allows lawyers, regardless if they are part of a large law firms or not, to run an eDiscovery project all by themselves. There is no longer the need to involve 3rd parties and wait for them to finish their work before you can start the review of your case related data.

Advances in Artificial Intelligence and powerful (legal) search have brought us even more: data collections are now processed fully automatically: data is unpacked, enriched, analyzed and organized automatically with unprecedented level of speed and accuracy. In just a fraction of the time, large amounts of information can be searched and relevant documents can be identified immediately using a wealth of search techniques.

Structural analytics unpack containers, add text to scanned and bitmap information, make audio recordings searchable,  translate foreign languages into English, but also analyze email threads, identify missing emails, detect exact and near duplicates. All of these highly reduce the amount of information that has to be reviewed manually.

But the real improvements are in so-called conceptual and semantic analysis, which are more concerned about the meaning of data and aspects of the case that really matter. Who did it, when, where, why, how, by which means, etc. It is even possible to detect sentiments, emotions, cursing, or bad language.

As a result, analytics allow reviewers to work faster and take better informed decisions based on facts instead of on intuitions. And this technology continues to improve at a rapid pace.

The next revolution in eDiscovery has been in teaching the computer how to perform certain eDiscovery tasks. Assisted Review has introduced a wealth of machine learning techniques to teach a computer what documents are relevant and which ones are not. It allows us to boost recall to very high levels, and defensibly find more relevant document than with any other search technique. The algorithms and protocols used have only become better over time and can now also be used in situations where the results were not so good a few years ago, such as highly unbalanced data sets (the identification of only a few hundred documents in sets of millions).

With the GDPR and the upcoming California Privacy Act, blacklining, redaction and pseudonimization are more important than ever. Using AI techniques, this too, has been taught to computer systems, resulting in much better quality than any human effort at a fraction of the cost and time.

At ABA Techshow, ZyLAB will show all of the above as part of our secure ISO27001-certified ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery SaaS solution. If you are interested, please visit us as booth 519 or schedule a personal demo now. With our 35 years of experience in legal technology and many of the most demanding organizations worldwide as our customers, we are excited to bring you the next level of SaaS based eDiscovery tooling, because the times they are achangin’!  For now I leave you with the start of Bob Dylan’s lyrics from 1964 and hope to see you all in Chicago!

 “Come gather 'round people, Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters, Around you have grown
And accept it that soon, You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you, Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin', Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.”

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