In a pilot scheme; a “robot” was used to scan for legal professional privilege content during the SFO’s case against Rolls-Royce.
The robot can process more than half a million documents a day, at speeds 2,000 times faster than a human lawyer, the SFO said.
The case saw the luxury car manufacturer enter a deferred prosecution agreement in January 2017, following a four-year investigation into bribery and corruption.
Building on this success, an AI-powered document review system is now being rolled out alongside the robot.
Not only will the AI document review system be able to recognise patterns, group information by subject, organise timelines, and remove duplicates, it will eventually be able to sift for relevancy and remove documents unrelated to an investigation.
The SFO believes it will enable teams to better target their work and time in other aspects of investigative and prosecutorial work.
From April, the SFO said it will begin managing all new cases with the AI-powered technology. It already has one case exceeding Rolls-Royce in size, with over 50 million documents requiring review, and another that is larger than both cases combined.
Smarter and faster
Ben Denison, SFO chief technology officer, said: “AI technology will help us to work smarter, faster and more effectively investigate and prosecute economic crime.
“Using innovative technology like this is no longer optional – it is essential given the volume of material we are dealing with and will help ensure we can continue to meet our disclosure obligations and deliver justice sooner, at significantly lower cost.
“The amount of data handled by our digital forensics team has quadrupled in the last year and that trend is continuing upwards as company data grows ever larger,” Denison said.