Continual Amazement at the Power of Technological Innovation: an interview with Lane Lillquist, the CTO of InCloudCounsel

Posted on January 28, 2020 by PinHawk Editors


Lane Lillquist, CTO of InCloudCounselPinHawk:  Was AI/ML part of the original vision or business plan for launching ICC?  If so, can you please describe how?

LL:  AI and ML have always been part of our company’s vision. We believe that an AI / human paired team can accomplish more than either humans or machines are able to accomplish on their own. We recognized the enormous potential for such technology to enable expert lawyers to work more efficiently and accurately.

PinHawk:  Does ICC use 3rd party AI products or have you developed your own tools and solutions? If you have developed your own AI/ML solutions, can you please briefly explain why you believed it was necessary/useful to do so?

LL:  An integral part of our end-to-end solution for routine legal work is our software platform that provides our lawyer partners and customers with a centralized location for document and workflow management, data abstraction, and data-driven trends reporting. The AI/ML aspects of our software are the result of our own research and development. This was necessary to do because the automation that we’re looking to achieve -- and the underlying problems that we’re looking to solve -- have never before been tackled.

PinHawk:  Is AI currently used in more than a single use case or part of ICC’s business operations?  Can you please provide a general description of what those use cases are?

LL: One use case applies our proprietary AI/ML models to the negotiation stage of a high-volume legal contract, such as an NDA. When an original contract from a counterparty is first loaded onto the platform, the system automatically scans and flags clauses that are in conflict with a customer’s negotiation requirements to the lawyer negotiating the agreement.

The second use case occurs after a negotiation has been completed, when InCloudCounsel’s end-to-end solution creates an abstract summary of key terms in the agreement. When the lawyers on InCloudCounsel’s platform create an abstract, the platform automatically scans the finalized agreement and identifies the key terms for some of the most common clauses.

PinHawk: Do you expect that AI will be instrumental to ICC in developing new product or service offerings over the next 12 to 24 months?

LL:  Yes. AI will play an ever-increasing role in our solutions as we continually strive to make them better and offer new solutions to new and existing customers.

PinHawk:  Have you seen any uses of AI in legal or other markets that you think are good illustrations of where the technology is heading?

LL:  For sure. The same basic problems exist in all sorts of problem domains. The power of AI/ML comes from taking these basic problems of data extraction and classification and applying them to our specific use cases in relation to the contract types we manage in our system.

PinHawk:  ICC’s current focus is on helping corporate law departments streamline the process for negotiating and marking up high volume legal documentation, such as NDA’s and derivative contracts.  How large do you think the market opportunity is for tools that are geared to that sort of high-volume contracting?

LL:  The market opportunity for making corporate law’s high-volume legal processes more efficient is gigantic and it’s increasing every day. This is due to a continued upward trend of simple contracts being negotiated and managed as a byproduct of large companies’ core business operations. It’s also due to continued technological innovation that will find new opportunities for legal technology to provide business value and give companies an edge in increasingly competitive industries.

PinHawk:  Do you expect to see AI assisted tools move up the contract food chain, so they are able to help lawyers with negotiation, drafting, and mark up of more sophisticated and less routinized agreements and, if so, how long do you expect that evolution to take?

LL:  Yes. AI currently is narrow in scope in that it’s only able to automate simple tasks. As AI improves over the next couple of decades, it’ll be increasingly capable of automating more sophisticated tasks that further enable lawyers with all aspects of document negotiation and management.

PinHawk:  Can you share with us any future opportunities for deep learning and active learning in the legal market that get you excited or keep you up at night?

LL:  Software will continue to ‘eat the world,’ and AI will help ensure the legal space achieves the same efficiencies that we have seen technology deliver to other industries. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to transform the legal industry in the future. My eyes are wide open; I’m continually amazed at the power of technological innovation.

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Lane Lillquist is the co-founder and CTO of InCloudCounsel, a legal technology company that automates and enhances high-volume legal document processes for over 200 enterprise customers.

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