The rapidly accelerating power of technology in eDiscovery

The rapidly accelerating power of technology in eDiscovery

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There’s a new wave of technology hitting the eDiscovery space. Last month attendees of Legaltech New York were captivated by the opening talk of Andrew McAfee, author of The Second Machine Age, on the rise of artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing.

The impact of these technologies is already being felt, with predictive coding, visual analytics, and technology assisted review, all becoming more prominent within the eDiscovery process. But just where does translation software fit into this new paradigm? How can legal firms and in-house counsel best benefit from it?

When faced with a cross-border case, a firm can see their eDiscovery workload more than double. A single set of ESI may contain documents in multiple languages for review to identify important evidence for their case. Foreign language documents can either be reviewed by native language attorneys, or alternatively can be translated for review by the litigation team in their own language.

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Several issues may arise when employing foreign language attorneys. The cost of hiring multiple legal personnel who are fluent in the required languages may prove to be prohibitive. Documents may also include mixed language content, requiring attorneys from multiple jurisdictions. What’s more, finding qualified attorneys to undertake the review is a time-consuming process. Where there is a large volume of content for review, this process usually leads to overwhelming additional expense. Likewise, full human translation of the entire multilingual dataset can also result in very excessive costs.

This is where automated language translation software steps in. Real-time machine translation of large batches of foreign language documents puts a fit-for-purpose translated version of content into the hands of the litigation review team immediately. The review team can then quickly identify documents for further investigation or full human translation if needed.

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It’s also important to note that translation software can help beyond just translation. Correctly identifying the different languages contained in any collection of ESI during the Identification stage of the EDRM is very important. It allows irrelevant materials to be quickly eliminated from any further review.

Exponential increases in the volume of multilingual data and ESI worldwide, coupled with huge improvements in recent years in translation software, means that more and more organisations are now opting to use translation software over native language review. When working through Gigabytes to Terabytes of data, using translation software to get a gist of large data sets improves efficiency by allowing review of all global discovery content in one language. It’s also undoubtedly faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

For example, the 2011 sale by South Korea-based Samsung Electronics of their hard-disk drive operations to Seagate Technology is a great example of how machine translation can be used successfully. Before the deal could close, Samsung had to await a Second Request review and approval by the FTC, which meant that their documents had to be provided in English. However, the vast majority of their documents were in Korean, well over a million pages. Human translation of which was estimated at a cost of $15 to $20 million. In the end, their attorneys decided to use translation software as an alternative to human translation, costing Samsung only a fraction of that amount.

Iconic has also provided many law firms, eDiscovery providers, corporate legal departments, and translation companies with cost-effective end-to-end translation solutions to make multilingual eDiscovery faster, cheaper, and better. Learn more about our software translation solution here.

About Iconic Translation Machines

Iconic Translation Machines is a leading machine translation software and solutions provider who specialise in custom solutions tailored with subject matter expertise for specific industry sectors including eDiscovery, legal, life sciences, and financial services. Iconic is the MT partner of choice for some of the world’s largest translation companies, information providers, and government and enterprise organisations, helping them to translate more content, more accurately and in less time, resulting in significant cost savings and increased revenue. Iconic is based in Dublin, Ireland.

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