It seems like software is taking on a larger and larger role within the legal industry. That is good news, too. Software can automate many mundane processes, saving law firms time, money, and effort. However, the influx can create some confusion, particularly in regard to terms used in reference to software-assisted processes. For instance, what is meant by ‘technology assisted review’?
What Is It?
Technology assisted review, or TAR, is the term used to describe a specific process in which a computer algorithm, or AI, electronically classifies documents or information from reviewers to help streamline document collection and sorting. You may also hear this process called a computer assisted review. This technology assisted review can be completed in order to achieve specific goals that matter to a particular case or process. These include:
- Eliminating irrelevant documents or information
- Compiling and collecting the most applicable documents
- Controlling quality in terms of human input
While a technology assisted review can deliver some significant benefits, it cannot do so in a vacuum. This must be taught. The only way to teach the TAR is to build the coding rules within the system through exposure to human inputs. That is, human reviewers must provide the TAR with example documents relevant to particular categories. This helps to establish the fact pattern for the case, and provides the TAR with information on which it can operate. Essentially, this is nothing more than a human being telling the system what information matters most.
The Benefits of a Technology Assisted Review
While a TAR will need human assistance in the beginning of a project, once the initial pattern has been set, the system can operate on its own. It can sort through terabytes of information in a fraction of the time it would take a team of human beings, providing significantly reduced time to completion and even helping to ensure more accurate results.
Can a TAR replace human beings? No, not entirely. It’s really more about supplementing your team and augmenting their capabilities. A TAR cannot replace human reviews, but it can help in other key areas.
In the end, a technology assisted review is a powerful tool that automates one of the most mundane but time-consuming tasks your team must perform. Based on machine learning, this type of system can deliver vital benefits to your law firm.