The fourth industrial revolution is nolonger around the corner. It is in the building. And, as anticipated, it is disrupting all industries. From Agriculture to Health, Media to Transportation, Legal practice to Education. You can name it all.
Though there's no silver bullet, there's a way many corporate firms have identified and seem to be embracing. That's keeping as close as possible to startups or adopting the startup culture internally.
So far, it has worked. Seeing that the number of corporate ventures has grown enormously in the past 3 years according to CB Insights.
These are not only being used by corporate firms to invest in startups but also as a strategy to position themselves for the potential acquisition of the same.
That seems to be the route being taken by the South African law firm - Bowmans. The firm, which has operations in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania - with affiliations in other African countries - recently invested in an AI startup called Kira Systems.
The deal was announced in May this year by Kira Systems on its blog without divulging much of the details.
"Pan-African law firm, Bowmans, has invested in Kira Systems, an artificial intelligence (AI) solution, to improve efficiencies in certain key legal processes, primarily in the mergers and acquisitions, private equity and compliance areas," wrote Kira Systems on their blog.
According to their website, the Toronto-based company is looking to "empower enterprises through intuitive, easy-to-use software tools for uncovering relevant information from their contracts."
The company is basically looking at significantly reducing the time and labor spent carrying out due diligence, contract analysis, and lease abstraction. It promises to reduce that by "20–90%."
Given that the nature of its work entails reviewing a lot of documents, it's by default that most of its clients are corporate firms. Currently, they list a couple of multinational corporates among their clients. This includes Deloitte, Dimension Data, Baker Donelson, Bennet Jones and more.
During the recently concluded fintech conference in Uganda, by Bowmans and Citi Bank, Cathy Truter, from Bowmans South Africa, spoke briefly about Kira Systems. Saying that it can review over 2000 documents in under 30 minutes. A task they said would take a lawyer over two weeks to complete.
As of 2018, Kira Systems counts 75 employees - up from 2 in 2011 and 2012. It also says that it now has over 2000 projects per month as well as 300,000 being reviewed per month in 40+ countries.
Many were disturbed and started questioning whether this will finally replace the lawyers. Yet, Cathy emphasized that Kira Systems would actually "make lawyers more efficient." Plus, this seems to be the start. Because, according to Deloitte, "over 100,000 legal roles to be automated."
Kira Systems isn't the only AI solution currently being used to ease the job of lawyers and other corporates. Here are 34 more that you can take a look at.