Inspired by the Harry Potter films, this entrepreneur built an AI-based engine for lawyers

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Throughout the Harry Potter series, a device called the Pensieve was featured often. This device allowed characters in the films to store and rewatch memories to analyse and gain insight.

With his wand at the ready, an entrepreneur based out of Mumbai decided to take this concept of fiction into reality by building a startup for a transparent data machine - called Pensieve.

By leveraging AI and NLP technology in the legal domain, Gaurav Shrivastava and Co-founder Prahlad Routh set out to improve the efficiency of law firms.

Currently, Pensieve is building an AI engine that has the capability to understand complex legal documents like judgements, laws, contracts, notices and circulars to extract data and drive insights.

What problem does this solve?

The legal ecosystem generates insights from an existing knowledge repository. Thus, it is very text-heavy. The development of Pensieve will drastically reduce productivity exhaustion as well as free up the users time to spend with their clients. Pensieve's flagship technology is an intuitive search engine that produces recommendations and helps a searcher prepare defensible arguments.

Speaking of their flagship technology, Shrivastava said:

“It’s one of a kind natural language query handler that lets users ask queries in a language that’s naturally in use. The intelligent search engine powered with AI and NLP goes beyond keyword search and it also understands the context to populate results by various machine learnt taggings that we have developed. The platform also understands results selected by users and their navigation to give personalised recommendations,”

Challenges that Pensieve is facing.

Given the data-intensive nature of AI, there are two major challenges facing AI right now:

  1. Building a data corpus is the primary and most difficult thing to venture into any sector.
  2. Issues related to data confidentiality and the black box problem of AI.

The Road Ahead.

India is the second-largest market in the world for legal professionals with over 600,000 legal professionals. Additionally, the global legal tech AI market was valued at $3.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to touch $37.8 billion by 2026, according to Zion Market Research.

However, the market is getting more competitive as India already has several legal tech startups, including VakilSearch, Spotdraft, NearLaw, LawyeredIn, Legal Desk, Nyaaya, and iProbono.

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