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Emerging Technologies in 2018: Buzz or Pay Attention

Created on December 1, 2017

E-Discovery Market Analyst at Exterro


Every year, a new wave of hot ideas rise to the top of the proverbial water cooler conversation in every field—and e-discovery is no exception. As part of our panel discussion on the essentials of every legal department’s e-discovery toolkit, Exterro Director of Marketing Programs Mike Hamilton asked Craig Ball, George Socha, Ralph Losey, and Maura Grossman to evaluate some of the hottest technology ideas in e-discovery to determine if they’re more buzz or a trend worth paying attention to in 2018.

Without further ado, let’s hear what they—and our audience—thought.

Mobile Technology and In-Place Preservation

Mobile technology has become so ingrained into all of our daily lives, it’s hard for anyone to argue that it’s buzz anymore. But what about IPP? The panelists were divided on the topic. While it provides benefits in that it could potentially slow down the explosive growth in data (and consequent need for deduplication), the actual cost of data preservation is not as high as it was in the past. Another issue, of course, is that as new technologies emerge, they fuel an alternative market—one of counter-technologies that seek to evade tools of preservation, surveillance, and law enforcement. When put to the audience, though, they believed it was a real trend.


AI/Supervised Machine Learning

What would have been surely considered AI in the past—even a decade ago—is now simply seen as “software,” so at some level, discussion of AI is trying to evaluate a moving target. With the increasing use of neural networks and machine learning, though, we can increasingly see AI applications arriving in the legal field. While some panelists found the issue was pure hype, and others that it would inevitably devolve into semantics, the audience found a way to make a judgment.


Multimodal Document Review

Whether technology or data-savvy lawyers lead the way into multi-modal document review, our panelists seemed to reach a consensus—it’s only common sense to use all the tools and modes of review at our disposal during the e-discovery process. The audience concurred.


Anomaly Detection Capability

Anomaly detection makes use of data science to identify patterns that don’t conform to expected result—in short, it looks at outlying data in the document pool in an attempt to understand the story that the data is trying to tell us. This can be an invaluable tool for lawyers, whose task, at some level, is to conduct an investigation into the truth and then craft a compelling story of what happened and why in the interest of their clients. With this desire to get at the truth, tools that slice and dice data to understand patterns are inevitably helpful.


If you’re interested in hearing the full discussion of this panel—and it’s worth it, as our panelists don’t pull their punches debating these issues—come back to our Webcast Resources page on Monday, 12/4/17 for the on demand video!