UK's fraud watchdog unleashes AI on cases

The system is billed as an accuracy-raising and cost-cutting 'robo-lawyer'

UK's fraud watchdog unleashes AI on cases

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has let loose a “robo-lawyer” on the matters the authority is handling.

In the latest move by the office to use technology to enhance its operations, it has begun to use artificial intelligence across all of its new casework from this month. The system is augmented by “Axcelerate,” an AI-powered automated document review technology developed by OpenText.

This allows the SFO to investigate more quickly than when human lawyers work on the cases alone, and reduce costs and errors.

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The launch comes just over a year after the SFO ramped up use of AI. Late last year, the office’s director said that he expects AI will soon replace lawyers in the preparation for criminal cases.

The SFO piloted the use of a “robo-lawyer,” which achieved speeds 2,000 times faster than a human lawyer, on its Rolls-Royce case. The latest system to be launched by the office can process more than half a million documents a day. The system will recognise patterns, group information by subject, organise timelines, and remove duplicates, the SFO said. It will also soon be able to remove unrelated documents.

“AI technology will help us to work smarter, faster and more effectively investigate and prosecute economic crime,” said Ben Denison, the SFO’s chief technology officer. “Using innovative technology like this is no longer optional – it is essential given the volume of material we are dealing with and will help ensure we can continue to meet our disclosure obligations and deliver justice sooner, at significantly lower cost. The amount of data handled by our digital forensics team has quadrupled in the last year, and that trend is continuing upwards as company data grows ever larger.”


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