Relativity Fest is very important time of year for those in the eDiscovery industry. It is chance for us to hear what is coming down the road and get a sneak peek at what new tools and technologies we are going to be able to offer to our clients.

After two years of Fest being fully remote, 2022 saw both London and Chicago running hybrid events with both cities seeing the industry's best and brightest show up in force!

Whilst I wasn't personally able to attend Fest Chicago I am incredibly excited about the announcements made by Mike Gamson (Relativity's Chief Executive Officer) and Chris Brown (Chief Product Officer) in terms of the direction that Relativity and the RelativityOne product are heading. As we are seeing a greater emphasis on the use of technology within litigation, the fact that our biggest tool in running and managing these matters is able to fully embrace the future is exciting to me!

FRP has recently moved to RelativityOne and already we have been able to offer our clients options in cases that would have been considerably more difficult to execute or even cost prohibitive in our Relativity Server offering. Hearing that Relativity is committed to continuing the development of the RelativityOne product in the direction they are gives me great confidence that FRP will continue to be able to move with the times and offer our clients the best service possible.

The Year of AI

The overriding message from both London and Chicago's Relativity Fests has been that AI is the future and something we cannot get away from, so we need to be embracing it at every opportunity.

Some of the headline AI features that we can expect to see implemented or improved in the next year include; Sentiment analysis, data management and tackling privacy & compliance challenges.

Each of these tools or features can have many benefits in different scenarios and identifying when they can be of use to you is going to be key to successfully implementing them.

Taking sentiment analysis as an example, this isn't going to be as important in instances where the purpose of the matter is to prove or disprove an event that is known to have taken place - it either happened or it didn't. Where it will be helpful is analysing communications to identify where someone's tone or view on a subject changes and in instances where there is an accusation of bullying or discrimination.

Data privacy and compliance is another area of focus for the upcoming AI applications with additional focus being put on ensuring compliance issues related to privacy breaches are suitably addressed. Relativity acquired Text IQ in 2021 and has integrated their technology into Relativity Trace and is also committed to including an AI driven tool for identification and redaction of Personal Information (PI) into the Redact application within RelativityOne. The automated redaction of PI will lead to many hours being saved in pre-disclosure redaction workflows meaning there should be less time pressure on the actual review phase.

Relativity Trace is a tool that has developed significantly in the past couple of years and continues to develop into the AI revolution. Future versions of the tool will include additional AI driven communication surveillance tools that perform crucial data cleansing ensuring that the output is as streamlined as possible. This is a development that will make a big difference to those corporate compliance exercises that deal with constant communication monitoring of often benign messages that hold no value to the "bigger picture".

What new features are going to make the biggest difference to the most users?

As well as the headline features there are a number of takeaways from Fest that are going to make a real difference to the day to day work that we all do.

The one thing I am most excited about is the rollout of "Review Centre". This is an application that will make review management considerably more streamlined as it aims to compile otherwise disparate tasks and allow for case and review managers to monitor status and progress without the use of multiple saved searches, scripts and dashboards.

Further integration into other Cloud based platforms was announced including integration into iManage through Relativity Collect. This is going make collaborating with our legal clients simpler in matters that have been ongoing for a while before our involvement where a significant amount of data and knowledge has been gathered already.

How can you make the most of all of this?

There is a lot to digest from this years Relativity Fest! There is a lot of emphasis on the future and that can at times be a worrying thing, especially if you think you are being asked to run before you can walk so to speak.

The majority of people I speak to about the use of technology and AI in litigation and investigations have concerns around how 'the machine' will be able to replicate what a room of humans could do with a first pass review workflow. After spending time explaining how things work and how we can "test the system" with validations and the like, most come around and embrace the process. A number of clients have subsequently come back on other cases and wanted to discuss using the tech at a much earlier stage in the process.

The most important thing of all is having people in your network that you can trust to give you the best advice.

If you do want to spend some more time going through any of the announcements made at Relativity Fest Chicago 2022 and how they might benefit you and your cases, please do reach out, I would be more than happy to do so.