The Role of Machine Learning in Contract Analysis

If you think contracts are long and unwieldy, here’s proof: according to an article in the New York Times, the average length of computer software contracts is 74,000-plus words, or, as the professor who combed through all the agreements to calculate that average pointed out, “basically the length of the first Harry Potter book.”

While Harry Potter might make for some fun reading, anyone who manages contracts for a living will likely tell you the pages and pages of fine print involved in most corporate agreements are decidedly not. And analyzing these lengthy volumes has historically been a cumbersome, manual task that – due to the potential implications of details as small as a comma – can take hour after painstaking hour. But contract analysis is hugely important work: this close scrutiny helps businesses to strengthen standard contracts, reducing their risks and improving potential upsides, and helps businesses to evaluate the terms of a specific contract, understanding exactly what they are obliging themselves to do and what they will get in return.

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What Does the Future of Contracting Look Like?

Contract management continues to evolve as the technology and tools involved improve and new features are introduced. One recent change that has already had a tremendous impact on legal teams is the introduction of artificial intelligence, which offers the ability to immediately extract actionable data from corporate agreements, among other benefits.

AI contract management is most likely to benefit industries with highly routine, template-based contracts such as healthcare, government, and manufacturing -- but as the technology continues to evolve, many other sectors will also benefit.

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Are Legal Departments Asking the Wrong Questions About Artificial Intelligence?

When it comes to implementing new technology, it’s often tempting to ignore the practical applications of the technology or determine if it actually addresses relevant challenges and focus only on the bells and whistles. Rather than asking, “What is our AI strategy?”, legal departments evaluating the potential upside of AI-based tools should consider the core challenges their legal teams face when managing the lifecycle of corporate contracts. 

There are certainly plenty of ways that AI tools can benefit your contract management process, especially for businesses dealing with a large volume of contracts, but it’s always best to evaluate your challenges and identify areas of opportunity before investing too much time into new technology.

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New Ebook: How AI Contract Management Improves the Value of the Legal Department

It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making a huge impact on a variety of industries and disciplines, and contract management is no exception. Contract management has historically been a very manual process, but software has been able to automate much of that manual work in recent years. The addition of AI is now making contract management simpler and more efficient than ever, which is paying significant dividends for legal teams of all sizes.

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What is Machine Learning and How Does it Apply to Contract Review?

A common problem in contracting is that despite best intentions, contracts often don’t deliver their full intended benefits: according to the Harvard Business Review, enterprises typically lose anywhere from five to 40 percent of the value of any given deal over the course of its lifespan.

Such value erosion can have many culprits: suboptimal and/or inappropriate terms and conditions, failures by one or more parties to abide by their contracted obligations, and the absence of or poor adherence to best practices for contract management are among the common themes that prevent businesses from realizing the full value of their agreements. But technology is providing enterprises with newer and more sophisticated tools than ever before that can help reduce such problems – and eliminate arduous, manual aspects of managing contracts and conducting contract reviews at the same time. One such innovation, machine learning, offers tremendous promise in this regard.

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3 Applications for AI in Contract Management

We’re currently in the middle of the greatest disruption to how we work since the invention of the steam engine. From robotic process automation to voice recognition and natural language processing, artificial intelligence (AI) is enabling businesses to meet their objectives more efficiently and effectively than in the past, with forecasts that AI-based technologies will contribute up to $15.7-trillion to the global economy over the next decade.

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How Will AI Realistically Change the Way You Manage Your Contracts?

Whether it’s the personalized list of movies recommended to you by Netflix or customer service chatbots that get you the answers you need day or night, AI has already had a transformative effect on everyday life and will continue to expand as technology evolves. Within the business world – including within contract management-related functions – we’re seeing growing benefits.

But how has AI – or artificial intelligence – already changed some of the key tasks associated with managing corporate agreements? And what realistic expectations should we have for AI’s ongoing impact on how contracts are managed? Keep reading to find out.

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Artificial Intelligence in Contract Management: 5 Things You Need to Know

Across functions and industries, executives are excited about the potential of artificial intelligence – or AI – to transform key business functions. According to a report from Deloitte about the state of AI in the enterprise, businesses believe that the improvements AI can deliver are an important way to help them compete in today’s fast-moving marketplace, with software representing one of the easiest paths to AI adoption.

Among the top benefits, executives say AI is helping them to optimize internal processes and make better decisions. And while these findings are not focused strictly within the contract management function, the opportunities artificial intelligence technologies provide to help businesses manage their portfolios of vendor and supplier agreements, employment contracts, and other key documents are equally great.

But in order to develop an artificial intelligence strategy for contract management that delivers on expectations, it’s important to understand both the capabilities and potential of AI as they pertain to the discipline of contract management. Before you get started, here are five key things you need to know.

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Announcing ContractWorks' New Artificial Intelligence Feature - AI Auto-Tagging

After months of hard work, conceptualizing, designing, and testing, we’re excited to announce our new artificial intelligence feature - AI Auto-Tagging! Upload your documents and let ContractWorks do the tagging for you. Enjoy more control and productivity with a tagged contract repository ready for searching and reporting.

Read on to learn how AI Auto-Tagging can make managing your contracts easier.

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ContractWorks is Sponsoring ACC Xchange 2019 in Minneapolis

The ContractWorks team is headed to Minneapolis as a sponsor and exhibitor of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Xchange 2019 from April 28 to 30th 2019.

ACC Xchange will be held at the Hilton Minneapolis and is a combination of ACC’s Mid-Year Meeting and Legal Operations Conference and includes an exciting line-up of sessions surrounding In-house Litigation and Next Gen Contracting, Legal Operations, and Leadership and Business Training. The event attracts over 500-600 law department executives and ContractWorks is excited to be there.

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