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New technology: are you falling behind?

February 28, 2018

This week’s news that artificial intelligence is now beating qualified lawyers at contract interpretation should come as no surprise. New technologies are steadily proving their superiority in a whole range of contract-related tasks, ranging from review, to data extraction, to analysis and discovery.

Automation has a dramatic impact on speed, as well as cost. But the real drive for automation comes when it can be shown that technology reduces risk – and that, of course, is where these contests between machines and humans become so important.

As the evidence mounts, some organizations are moving fast to trial and introduce new technologies. Blockchain is a leading example, providing not only a robust and reliable record of contractual agreements, but also capturing performance data and introducing automated execution of contract terms.

In a current IACCM survey, it is clear that blockchain (or smart ledgers) is the technology with which contracts and legal professionals are most familiar – at least in terms of awareness. About one third state that they are thinking about or planning trials, with around 4% already trialling in some way. Just over 3% have smart ledgers in operational use.

So where does that leave you? And what about the many other technologies that are now starting to streamline contracts and supply chains? If you want to know where you stand relative to others in your industry or market, you can participate in the IACCM survey by visiting

Results will be issued within the next two weeks.

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