Change is one thing the legal industry can count on, whether it’s the introduction of new technologies, improved workflows, shifting circumstances, or something completely unexpected (fingers crossed that’s not the case again!). We like to play our part at Avansic to help drive improved productivity, advancement of technology, and ultimately better results for you. As we reflect on what occurred along the way in 2021, it helps to shape a picture of things we see happening in 2022. So, here are a few predictions from our crystal ball…
We predict the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in two different ways. First, to facilitate the more efficient identification of key documents. Second, as a better method to minimize review sets through the use of near-dupe, unique document clustering, and email inclusive identification. Some of this AI will become more automatic, like spell-check is in word processing software; however, there will still be gaps in analytics algorithms and the presentation of those results to a user. This could make it difficult to compare one AI technology to another. For instance, the use of AI to minimize document sets will become more commonplace. This is the process of forensically deduping data across custodians so that there’s only one copy of a unique document in the data set. Then further reducing that set by only considering inclusive emails where the content of a particular email is unique across an email thread. Finally, taking those results, breaking the parent-child relationships, deduping again, and now only considering unique content using near-dupe technology. With this minimal set, clustering technology can be used to get an idea of the topics that exist without being obscured by the quantity of a topic in the given set. Once a type of content is determined to be relevant or responsive, the layers of de-duplication and filtering can be undone to find all of the documents needed for review.
As we emerge slowly back into the workforce, it’s clear that many companies will embrace a remote/in-person hybrid approach. Fluidity in employee location and the hours that they work brings challenges to forensic investigations. Employees are also performing more personal tasks on corporate devices and corporate functions on personal devices. This adds to the number of devices to be examined in a forensics investigation while also complicating investigations by forcing the separation of these activities. Attrition of employees that stems from starting a similar business or moving to a competitor will cause more internal investigations and employee-related litigation to occur because of this work-life web. Companies have to be both offensive in protecting the data leaving their company and proactive in ensuring that new employees don’t take and use data from former employers.
We think self-service eDiscovery will break through in two ways in 2022. The tech is consistently becoming easier to use while the user base is growing more educated in eDiscovery technologies. Taken together, this will mean more users being able to load, process, review, and produce data without any outside assistance. In 2019 no legal professional would even consider using Zoom for a deposition, but now it’s widely accepted. eDiscovery self-service will find a way and become as accepted, useful, and easy as videoconferencing. The technology is there, and the market is ready for more people to begin using it. There will still be complex tasks that require expert assistance, but self-serve is here to stay and will flourish in the coming months.
What Do You See…?
What nascent technology, burgeoning workflow, or interesting trends have you spotted and are wondering about or anticipating? What ideas or thoughts do you have to solve a challenge or improve a process? Reach out and share them with us - maybe we can help your predictions come true in 2022!