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When is a Discovery Program Ready for Gen AI?

  • 2 Mins

Gen AI is a hot topic. It has the potential to help legal teams enhance efficiencies and reduce costs. Emerging discovery-related Gen AI applications include early case assessment, document review, document summarization, and more. While there are promising future gains, implementation will take effort and time. Discovery teams need to strategically select and deploy Gen AI-driven tools to mitigate risk.

To experience the benefits of Gen AI, legal teams should: ensure their processes are standardized and streamlined and confirm the Gen AI functionality aligns with their specific challenges. Teams with a good understanding of the current state of their discovery program will know where to apply Gen AI to get the biggest impact. For example, if a team is looking to implement Gen AI to complete document review during an Early Case Assessment where time is of the essence, the benefit that Gen AI would offer would be minimized if the process to collect and/or process the data into a review platform is not streamlined.

The implementation of new technology creates workflow disruption, and Gen AI is no exception. Unlike traditional technology implementations, Gen AI has additional use considerations such as potential AI hallucinations and bias, requiring more quality control and audits than what may be set up for traditional, non-AI technology use. The positive impacts of Gen AI integration will be minimized if there are gaps in the workflows it’s trying to streamline. For example, if Gen AI is being leveraged to quickly identify the key, relevant documents for a litigation or internal investigation, any gaps in the discovery process that prevent potentially relevant data from being collected (i.e., not conducting custodial interviews to determine potentially relevant data sources), will minimize the benefits of the AI quickly identifying all potentially relevant documents. To ensure a successful change rollout, long-term adoption, and maximized benefits, it is important to understand—and fix if needed—existing workflows.

The successful integration of Gen AI capabilities will also change the resources needed to complete work. For example, Gen AI solutions that aid in document summarization during early case assessment will reduce manual work for people who review documents. Understanding what resources are currently working on tasks, and anticipating how much work the Gen AI implementation will remove, is critical. With this information, teams can proactively align existing resources to higher-value tasks when the AI is implemented.

One way to understand the current state of a discovery program is to bring in outside experts to complete an in-depth assessment. This has two primary benefits. First, external experts are not invested in the current program, so they can objectively consider alternative workflows. Second, these experts will bring broad experience and best practices to the assessment.

Epiq’s Discovery Health Check is a six-to-eight-week assessment during which experts conduct key stakeholder interviews and documentation and workflow reviews to gain a full understanding of the current state of a discovery program. At the end of the process, organizations receive a detailed report that identifies gaps or areas of improvement, along with actionable next steps and key areas to focus on during Gen AI adoption. The Discovery Health Check provides the visibility and guidance legal teams need to take to ensure a program is ready for successful Gen AI implementation.

Gen AI integration benefits discovery programs in many ways. By taking a strategic approach to implementation and leveraging assessments legal teams can position themselves to be better prepared for Gen AI integration and its long-term adoption.

Yuka Ito-Currin Yuka Ito-Currin has over fifteen years of experience in the eDiscovery and litigation support industry. As a Strategic Client Engagement Director, Yuka provides strategic consulting to Epiq’s corporate clients, guiding their legal departments through in-depth assessments of their Discovery processes and procedures and helping them build out their Discovery Centers of Excellence.

The contents of this article are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.

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