At this year's Build developer conference, Microsoft unveiled major enhancements to its Cognitive Services offerings on Azure, and introduced Cognitive Search, an AI-first approach to content understanding. Icertis, who has been working closely with Microsoft on the latest Azure technologies, was invited to demonstrate how developers can use the tools to create highly specialized AI applications for their customers.
At Icertis, we are focused on building the contract management platform of the world and applying AI to turn static contracts into living, strategic documents, which includes leveraging new Azure capabilities. Cognitive Search, which enables deep content understanding, was a natural technology to apply to the complex world of contracts.
At Build, we joined Elad Ziklik, Microsoft's Group Program Manager for Cognitive Search, to demonstrate the huge potential of combining Azure's AI features with Icertis' specialized contract applications.
Ziklik opened the session by noting the challenge organizations have in getting value out of the massive amounts of data they have stored in a wide variety of forms.
"Customers are sitting on piles of office documents, SharePoint documents, diagrams, scanned PDFs of contracts and policies. Nobody knows what to do with them and they don't do anything with them," he said.
However, quickly developing AI technology is allowing programmers to train algorithms to "ingest, enrich and explore" natural language to help process and search across these documents, thus unlocking, as Ziklik put it, "the latent value in all content."
Icertis has been on the cutting edge of applying this technology to contracts, and at Build we demonstrated just how transformational AI will be for the contract management space, especially when combined with the exhaustive work we have already been doing with machine learning.
Building on top of Cognitive Search, we added custom skill sets (a way to extend the understanding of Cognitive Search with your own tools) and enriched it to understand the legal context of contracts, using our domain knowledge and the insights from managing millions of contracts for some of the largest organizations in the world, across diverse industries.
When a contract gets created on the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform, it goes through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process and then gets fed into a pipeline of custom Icertis AI skills built specially for contract management. The skills can identify what types of clauses are in a contract, and extract specific attributes such as renewal dates or purchase prices.
With Azure Cognitive Search, once the contract is processed by the pipeline and the results are indexed, users can ask complex questions against the contract. For example, a user might want to see all contract clauses that pertain to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Because ICM was built specially for contracts, the platform knows that GDPR pertains to privacy, and also knows what privacy clauses look like. With this knowledge, it can return results far superior to anything traditional keyword search could ever deliver. This empowers users to discover value and risks in contracts like never before.
AI will change the way we look at contracts forever. They will no longer be static documents stored away in filing cabinets or shared drives but will be living, strategic assets. Icertis' strong partnership with Microsoft allows us to continue to innovate in this exciting space.
You can watch our full presentation here.
If you'd like to learn more about the ICM platform, contact us today.