Autonomy audio processing for law firms

Autonomy has wasted little time in extending its search technology into the iManage products which came to it with the acquisition of Interwoven. It has announced an audio processing capability for what is now called Autonomy iManage WorkSite.

The business rationale lies in the growing amount of audio which law firms now have. Voice-mails, recorded depositions, in-house educational materials, and a wide range of other sources are now routinely recorded and kept. The need to search them is no less than the need to hunt down documents in more conventional forms – and it is a measure of how far we have come that we now consider Word files, spreadsheets and other electronic files as “conventional”.

Law firms’ own internal information management is not strictly my primary interest – it is what they have to do with their clients’ data which concerns me. It is, nevertheless, important to keep up with any development in information retrieval which has the potential to matter in litigation or in regulatory or other investigations. It is not just law firms who capture audio data. The resulting files are “documents” in most of the jurisdictions which require discovery / disclosure, and advances in the technology used to cull and filter audio is important. The ability to search, use and annotate audio is becoming a standard feature of litigation support packages.

I have observed before that audio searches offer a more compelling and graphic illustration of the power of search technology even than more conventional “documents” do. It is not just the pretty picture of the sound which counts. Lawyers may be able to persuade themselves that they can read through documents more quickly than others can. An hour of audio, however, takes an hour to listen to. Anything which can cut through to what matters is unarguably saving time, and time matters.


About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in Discovery, E-Discovery Suppliers, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Legal Technology, Litigation Support. Bookmark the permalink.

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