artificial intelligence


If you’ve read any of my posts, you will know how much I love the fact that technology can make our lives better.  You’re probably thinking – yeah, but isn’t that what technology is supposed to do?  For example, being able to see all my friends pictures by using Instagram.  Yes, and no.  I’m talking about utilizing technology as a way to make our lives easier.  Or to simplify processes.  Or even to give someone the ability to understand their health in a way they never did before.  When it comes to simplifying a process, I think technology can (and should) be used more.  Which is why I love the fact that artificial intelligence can evaluate confidentiality agreements.

NDA Lynn is AI that will fulfill this role, instead of having to get a lawyer to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that this is a way to push people out of certain roles.  But I do think that lawyers could be freed up to do other tasks if this kind of technology is available to them.  For the past decade or so, Arnoud Engelfriet has been the Netherland’s go-to guy for any questions regarding the internet as it pertains to the law.  One of the services that Engelfriet offered was checking NDA’s and whether or not they should be signed.  That’s a ton of work.  I could add some expletives in front of “ton”, but I’m sure you get the picture.


Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are a pretty standard business practice.  They are used to keep confidential information under wraps.  While they are quite common, they do require some scrutiny to determine what exactly establishes a breach.  Further, checking an NDA is pretty standard work.  But, it comes with some drawbacks, mainly the amount of time it takes to review one.  Which is why Engelfriet has put his computer science degree to work and has started building an AI that could help him out. While I won’t get into the details of how Engelfriet designed the AI, I do want you to know that it was kind of complicated.

But let’s talk about why this is revolutionary.  Engelfriet is modest in his assessment of this technology, calling it “innovative”.  Yes, that’s a word that could be used to describe this technology, but it’s certainly shouldn’t be the word.  NDA Lynn is a machine learning system that has been trained to identify clauses in NDA’s that don’t seem quite right.  It then turns a clause-by-clause report on which ones are ok, and which ones seem to require additional work or are unclear.  I am not a lawyer, but I imagine that a good portion of their time spent is reading through clauses to determine how feasible they are.  If you can automate that process, you’ve now freed up a ton of time.


I would also like to point out that I’m not suggesting this will replace lawyers.  I’m simply suggesting that the time that this will “free up” for lawyers is going to allow them to reallocate their time in other, more productive ways.  Technology isn’t always the answer when it comes to being more efficient and effective in our process, but in this case, it’s certainly going to revolutionize the industry in my opinion.