Almost any business decision benefits from legal advice, but what if you aren’t willing to spend the time or money to get it? iLex set out to help companies of all sizes get the guidance they need.
iLex is building Lexi, an AI chatbot that can instantly answer clients’ questions about its services in natural language, and which will soon offer personalized legal advice.
24/7access to legal insights support better decision-making for clients
Rapidtime-to-market contributes to iLex’s business growth
Scalesseamlessly to help iLex serve more clients without increasing headcount
Business challenge story
Making the case for AI
Legal firms are hives of activity, and getting a fast answer from a lawyer can be a tough challenge for even the largest organizations.
“We see companies of all sizes facing similar difficulties when it comes to getting legal advice,” explains Dr. Marianna Ritter, CEO at iLex Systems Zrt. “Many businesses find that their lawyers are difficult to reach when they’re needed, unable to respond in a timely manner or fail to charge for their services in a transparent way.”
She continues: “To help enterprises get fast, accurate answers to their legal questions, we founded iLex. Unlike traditional law firms, we offer a service-level agreement [SLA] approach to legal advice. Depending on each client’s specific needs, we take on some or all of their legal processes as a managed service. Crucially, we guarantee each client will receive responses to their questions within the time specified in their SLA.”
To grow its business, iLex is always looking for innovative ways to enhance its services.
“In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion of interest in AI [artificial intelligence] technologies across a wide range of industries,” continues Dr. Ritter. “We were confident that AI technology was mature enough to enable us to shape an entirely new way of engaging with our clients.
“We decided to create an AI platform that could provide qualified legal device to our clients in natural language. As well as offering instant answers to their questions, we knew that automation would enable us to deliver high-quality services to even more clients without increasing our headcount—and we looked for a partner to help us turn our vision into a reality.”
Starting an AI journey
To build its new service, iLex selected AI solutions from the IBM® Watson® portfolio, hosted in the security-rich IBM Cloud.
“In our business, trust is everything—and for that reason, we wanted a partner with an unimpeachable reputation,” Dr. Ritter explains. “Of all the vendors we considered, we were most impressed by IBM. Not only could IBM offer the kinds of industry-leading AI solutions we were looking for, they also had the ability to host the platform reliably and cost-effectively in their own cloud environment. We were clear from the outset that we wanted more than a solution integrator. We wanted a partner who would walk with us side-by-side on our innovation journey—and IBM offered us exactly that.”
The company decided that a chatbot would be the easiest way for its clients to interact with the platform from any connected device. Working together with a team from IBM, iLex laid the foundation for its new AI service—named Lexi—by deploying IBM Watson Conversation.
“Our aim is to build a platform that’s capable of serving our clients at scale,” continues Dr. Ritter. “With IBM solutions, we can provide services to thousands of users without causing any significant technical challenges—helping us serve large numbers of clients with only a small number of personnel.”
The current version of Lexi combines machine learning, natural language processing, and integrated dialog tools to shape seamless integration between iLex’s business systems and its users. After just a few weeks of training the solution, the company was ready to start interacting with clients.
“We achieved spectacular results within weeks,” adds Dr. Ritter. “IBM provided extremely responsive support as we prepared our first prototype of Lexi. In fact, within one day of discussing our requirements, our IBM architect provided us with a demo system that we could start working with immediately. We really appreciate the IBM team’s hands-on approach—and the combination of IBM’s people, processes and solutions has helped us to achieve an extremely short time to market.”
Preparing for the future
Today, iLex is using Lexi to help answer frequently asked questions about one of its popular legal service products—and the company is now preparing the solution to take a leading role in client interactions.
“As a first step, we are collaborating with the department of law at the University of Pécs in Hungary to help train Lexi,” comments Dr. Ritter. “Researchers and students at the university are now teaching the Lexi to answer civil law related questions as part of their courses—giving students experience with AI platforms, and helping us build the capabilities we need to launch the next phase of the project.”
She continues: “In the future, Lexi will be able to provide 24/7 personalized legal advice to our clients in natural language. For non-legal professionals, Lexi will offer a short, easy-to-understand answers to their questions.
“Better still, our AI will also be able to act as a decision-support system for expert lawyers by providing detailed commentaries on legal questions that include relevant regulations, legal cases and advice on a strategy for solving the problem. Without a doubt, the new solution will contribute to higher-quality experiences for our clients, and help drive our business growth.”
As iLex develops Lexi in the IBM Cloud, the company continues to work closely with IBM.
“Lexi is now well on the way to becoming a core part of our cloud-based legal service management platform,” says Dr. Ritter. “We are also very interested in augmenting the platform with even more advanced AI capabilities, including IBM Watson Discovery to help Lexi surface pertinent information from legal texts.”
She concludes: “We see AI playing an increasingly important role in all aspects of life in the years to come—and the legal profession is no exception. Teaming up with IBM, we can harness the power of AI solutions to deliver fast access to legal advice for our clients around the world.”
Founded in 2013 and headquartered Budapest, Hungary, iLex delivers solutions that help companies of all sizes organize and manage their legal processes from end to end. Offering services ranging from partial to full outsourcing for legal activities, iLex manages sector-specific legal tasks for a variety of industries, and offers a call center staffed with expert legal counsel.
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