To get an insight into how artificial intelligence can assist the legal industry, AI Business caught up with Neota Logic’s European Managing Director, Rick Seabook. Neota Logic is a global provider of artificial intelligence software for the automation of legal and compliance. Combining intelligent reasoning, workflow and document assembly, the company’s easy-to-develop, online advisors help professional firms and their clients improve efficiency, manage risk and achieve regulatory compliance.
Rick Seabrook is the European Managing Director for Neota Logic. Previously, he ran the European business for Epiq Systems, a forensics-and electronic discovery company and was a Partner at Accenture where for over 18 years, he led consulting, technology and outsourcing client engagements across a number of industries. He is a non-executive director of Workpond Ltd, a specialist flexible working talent and recruitment consultancy.
To gain a broader understanding of where and how Neota Logic can apply their software, we asked what their key proposition is in enabling an AI-powered business?
“Neota is a platform for companies to build online expert advisors so our software is used in many different ways and contexts”, Seabrook begins.
“Our overarching proposition is to allow users to benefit from receiving the guidance and advice through our software of the very best professional experts in areas such as HR, Legal, Accounting and Compliance”.
Could you share a couple of key enterprise use cases for your solutions with our readers?
“We work routinely in compliance”, Seabrook begins, saying that an example of this would be where Neota has been deployed by a major investment bank in order to perform regulatory compliance and commercial checks on financial derivatives trades.
“In cases like these those checks involve not only the correct navigation of highly complex regulatory rules (literally tens of thousands of rules and billions of potential fact patterns) but also the judgement of legal and commercial experts inside the bank applied to each individual transaction”, Seabrook explains.
“All modeled into software algorithms, running in sub-millisecond time. It’s game-changing for the bank”.
“We also have over 100 North American corporations including Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Salesforce and my favourite, IBM, receiving expert HR advice through Neota software via our employment law joint venture ComplianceHR“, Seabrook reveals, showing the wide range of where Neota’s solutions can be applied.
Looking ahead, what is your enterprise strategy for Neota Logic in the short- and long-term?
“We are focused on three growth strategies for our business” Seabrook says. “The first is offering our platform to professional services firms who wish to innovate by offering online products and services for their clients”.
Seabrook continues, saying: “Secondly, incubating new start-up ventures who are experimenting with our technology”. The third growth strategy involves launching their own ventures on their platform similar to ComplianceHR”.
“All of the above will be focused in professional services, so Legal, Accounting, Tax and regulated industries including Financial Services, Education, Healthcare and Insurance”.
Beyond this, Seabrook also reveals that Neota has a major Pro-Bono programme in partnership with Georgetown Law School in order to continue to teach young professionals their technology, working with charities to solve real-life issues in the Access to Justice space
In terms of new products and solutions, what can we expect from Neota Logic in the immediate future?
“As is the nature of a platform provider, we and our clients are constantly announcing new products and solutions”, Seabrook says. “We are hopefully going to be announcing several new ventures in Q1 2017 along the lines of our very successful partnership ComplianceHR.”
“We will also have further collaborations to announce such as our recent Clifford Chance announcement in the financial Regtech-space”, Seabrook reveals.
Looking at the AI-technology in general, which industries would you say are leading the way in AI implementation, and are there any you see getting left behind?
“I’d say we’re still in the very early stages of experimentation in most industries and the headlines are probably outstripping reality so it’s hard to judge if any are significantly ahead or behind, in the private sector at least”, Seabrook says.
“I’d also add that most technologies are still addressing relatively narrow, point issues in the enterprise right now and we’re not yet seeing the sorts of breakthrough collaborations that could lead to significant value being created across the enterprise”.
When looking at an enterprise, what do you deem as important to allow it to embrace AI and enable its adoption?
Seabrook lists three things he always sees as important for an enterprise to embrace and adopt new technologies.
“Firstly, to get on and start doing. Don’t talk, experiment”, is Seabrook’s message. “Modern technology allows you to do that in ways you couldn’t before”.
“Secondly, think big and radically different about your operating model rather than just automating what you are already doing”, he says. “Some of the available technologies, including Neota, enable completely different ways of engaging customers, staff, and suppliers, so take advantage of them!”
“Finally, don’t underestimate the wider effort and costs involved in realising value from these technologies. I’m referring to all the other aspects of the changes required to the enterprise. There is no such thing as artificial intelligence that you can switch on and it teaches itself what to do!”