It is perhaps a characteristic of all professional people that they believe their work to be somehow “special”, something that only they understand and can do. We see this in electronic discovery, where, as technology develops to reduce or eliminate manual work, and where alternative business structures offer cheaper and sometimes better ways of achieving a task, lawyers continue to manage discovery with a sneer at technology as “black boxes”.
As discoverable data moves from email and word documents and into Big Data in its many forms, this attitude has become untenable. It is, perhaps, useful to look at other areas in which significant things turn on the analysis of data.
The obvious example of this is the pharmaceutical industry, where products must be observed, measured and analysed both during clinical trials and thereafter.
UBIC, originally best known primarily for its international litigation support services, has expanded within that area to add Big Data analysis for the benefit of lawyers. They have not stopped there, however, and have taken the skills they have developed for their artificial intelligence “Virtual Data Scientist” software program into the pharmaceutical area. There is a press release about this here.
Lawyers may care to consider whether software which is capable of what may be literally life and death decisions is more than adequate for eDiscovery purposes.