Predictive Coding and the End of Japanese Document Review?

Is there life after predictive coding for an outsourced, contract attorney doing document review?  If I were an English reviewer at one of those “big law” type international law firms, I would either find another gig  (like launching a startup) or learn a foreign language that is based on thousands of complex Chinese characters.  Although the volume of work is still in English, early last year’s order issued by Judge Peck that approved the use of computer-assisted review, should be an ominous foreshadow that document review conducted by us mortals may be inching to its decline and eventual obliviousness—or at least the labor intensive review that often costs more than litigating the rest of the case.

What is predictive coding?  In short, it is computer-aided coding that enables a computer program to determine relevance without having to sift thru the entire population of electronically stored information “ESI” by document reviewers.  For further explanation see this and this.

Although our company has an interest in seeing Japanese language document review keeping our Japanese colleagues employed for many more years to come, predictive coding is still cause to reflect on the power of technologies to make it more affordable when reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents that ultimately turn out to be mostly “false positives.”  To our Japanese readers:

心配しないで。いくら技術が発展したとはいえ.  私たちがテクノロジーに取って代わられることはないでしょう

*Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe et al., No. 11-1279 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2012)

About JDR

Japanese Doc Review is a placement agency focused on the Japanese language market.

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