Global investments in legal tech increased by over 700% to $1.66 billion in 2018. This flurry of investment activity comes as the legal industry struggles to keep up with an exponential increase in data and amid calls from clients to leverage technology to deliver more effective and efficient solutions. As a consequence, after decades of sluggish adoption rates, law firms are finally warming up to legal tech, which, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, now holds the power to eliminate time consuming, repetitive tasks, allowing lawyers to focus on high value work involved in shaping strategies and solving complex legal problems.

Toronto and Silicon Valley-based ROSS Intelligence is one such legal tech company, which uses cutting edge Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to accurately answer legal research questions in mere seconds, instead of hours, reading through all case law and responding with a precise collection of cases needed to develop authoritative legal positions. Their platform even understands the time period and jurisdiction of interest and automatically applies filters in order to seamlessly focus the query accordingly.

Built from the ground up as an AI company

"We're creating intuitive, world class research technology that will transform the business model of law firms across the United States, and ultimately the world”, says Andrew Arruda, Co-founder and CEO of ROSS Intelligence. Because ROSS is the only legal research software company that was built from the ground up as an AI company, Arruda claims their systems are substantially more complete and relevant than incumbent legal research tools.

The genesis of ROSS Intelligence came from the personal experience of its Co-founder and CTO, Jimoh Ovbiagele, who as a child witnessed the disastrous financial impact of his parents' divorce. From that moment on, he was determined to use technology to make legal services affordable and efficient for everyone who needs them. Meanwhile, the proprietary technology that powers ROSS was the direct result of theories developed at the University of Toronto, which leads the world in AI research, explains Arruda. "We are only beginning to scratch the surface of 1% of what our system will be able to do within five years", he says. "We look forward to changing the way legal services are delivered for everyone. It's still early days, but all signs from the last few months have proved out this hypothesis, now that we've expanded to all practice areas and have allowed for self-serve-registration off our website for solos and small firms".

ROSS's Ontario presence helps to advance its ambitious goals for growth

While ROSS's success has not come without its challenges, the company is staying true to its mission. “The greatest challenge in creating ground breaking AI is avoiding the temptation to cut corners. This temptation is only heightened now that many older legal software companies are rebranding as AI companies”, says Arruda. "We're just getting started here at ROSS Intelligence. We can't wait for the world to see some of the releases we have slated for the next year now that we've created our search AI foundation". ROSS has a number of product and feature releases scheduled for 2019, all of which are designed to ensure ROSS is a 10X ROI software tool for its power users, while continuing its aggressive expansion into key U.S. markets, and Arruda says the company's presence in Ontario helps advance ROSS's ambitious goals for growth. "We benefit daily from having operations in Ontario", states Arruda. “The province not only produces some of the most sought after computer science and machine learning graduates in the world, but it also has a long history of provincial governments, as well as a federal government, which actively seeks to attract, promote and grow tech ventures. Our deep connections to the province are one of the principal reasons for our success – and it's also a source of envy for some of our American contemporaries".

Leading the way for AI-powered legal research companies

"In the future, every sector will have a leading AI company that industry professionals rely on for information retrieval and organization", says Arruda. "We are that company for law. Starting from that foundation, our machine learning algorithms will be able to gather such enormous quantities of information that we will be able to begin pushing to production at a heightening pace new software that will literally revolutionize the practice of law. We already have lawyers that love us in the United States, and we can't wait for the day ROSS will be used for legal research at law firms around the world".

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April 23, 2019

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