Artificial Intelligence and Automatic Text Analysis in Legal Documents
As artificial intelligence continues to improve with each passing day, the ways in which these technologies can be applied and used within the workplace continue to both grow and evolve. What’s more, due to the capabilities and features of these technologies, many processes that were once completed manually can now be done automatically. Two common examples of this are automatic PDF redaction and automatic transcription. While the processes of document redaction and automatic transcription have traditionally been long, tedious, and costly, there are now automatic redaction software offerings that will complete these same functions in a matter of minutes. As such, the jobs of law firms and court systems are made easier and more seamless.
Automatic PDF redaction
The process of manually redacting documents has historically been a massive, complicated, and expensive undertaking, particularly when done on a large scale. As law firms and courts will potentially have thousands of documents containing personal information that will need to be redacted before being shared in court or with the general public, they are often faced with two difficult choices. The first choice is to handle the redaction process internally within a given law firm. While this will undoubtedly save law firms money, this will be at the expense of time, and in many instances accuracy. Conversely, law firms can also opt to outsource their redaction needs to a professional, at the expense of the high costs that can be associated with professional redaction services.
As a testament to this fact, the average rate for an experienced review attorney can range anywhere from $40 to $60 an hour. Within this hour timeframe, the most highly trained and expedient attorneys may be able to redact 100 pages in an hour at the most, though this number will most likely be far lower in many instances. To give a more realistic estimation, most review attorneys will be able to redact around 100 pages in an hour. Conversely, many automatic PDF redaction software offerings will be able to redact 10,000 pages within the same hour it takes for a review attorney to redact a few dozen.
In keeping with this example, a review attorney could process 10,000 pages in 100 hours for a total of $4000. Comparatively, while an automatic video redaction software option with the capability to process 10,000 pages in an hour might come at the cost of $300, this fee will prove to be cheaper in both the short and long turn. When applied on a more grand scale, law firms and court systems stand to save more than 90% on costs related to PDF redaction when using automatic software as opposed to having someone perform the same job manually. As such, these resources can be dedicated to other facets and areas of the legal process.
Much like the process of manual redaction, the process of transcription in legal contexts has traditionally been completed by stenographers. While stenographers are trained professionals who will achieve the highest level of accuracy possible when transcribing audio files into written form, the work they perform can prove extremely costly, even more so when they are used for long-term projects or assignments. As an example of this, the average rate for a stenographer can range anywhere from $16 to $50 an hour, depending on the expertise, experience, and education of the stenographer in question.
Even if one uses the lower end of the hourly pay rate for stenographers as an example, automatic transcription software will still prove to be a more cost-effective option. To illustrate an example, a professional stenographer who transcribes 1000 hours of audio footage at $16 an hour will cost a law firm or court $16,000. Alternatively, an automatic transcription software offering that costs $2000 and will be able to complete this same job in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost. However, this will obviously be at the expense of accuracy, as many speech recognition features within automatic transcription software will struggle to pick up the context of certain sentences.
Watch the example below to see how fast you can redact sensitive information from documents using artificial intelligence algorithms and text analysis.
Despite this downside to automatic transcription, it will still prove to be the more efficient and cost-effective option in the long run. This is due in large part to the confidence level that is provided for each word when automatically transcribing audio files. When the automatic transcription process has been finished, all words that were transcribed will be given a confidence level ranging from 0% to 100%. Furthermore, any words that contain a low confidence level will be underlined for the user to easily view and update if needed. In this way, people who are looking to be as accurate as possible when automatically transcribing audio can rest assured that they do not misinterpret any information during the process.
While the legal process is one of the last facets of the business world to be performed largely by manual inputs in the new age of technology, automatic PDF redaction, and transcription software programs have proven to be both cheaper and more effective in many instances. As opposed to outsourcing these processes or hiring some specifically to carry them out, law firms can now perform many of these tasks themselves, without having to sacrifice valuable time and resources. What’s more, these automatic software programs also assist in cutting down on the inevitable human errors that will arise when working on bulk documents or transcriptions. With these technologies in hand, law firms and court systems alike can guarantee that they are providing clients with the highest quality of services.