In the run-up to the AI Summit London, we secured an exclusive interview with Peter Wallqvist, CSO and Co-Founder at RAVN Systems, who outlined how they are using AI today and moving forward.

RAVN works specifically in Natural Language and Machine Learning areas of artificial intelligence (AI). RAVN helps businesses by creating AI platforms which can organise, discover and summarise unstructured data. Not only does this help to streamline businesses, free up employees’ time to work on more important tasks and be more efficient, RAVN’s AI platform also mitigates companies’ risk. Many of RAVN’s customers tend to be in the legal sector.

We spoke to RAVN’s CSO and Co-Founder, Peter Wallqvist, in order to gain insight into how their artificial intelligence actually works and how it’ll change businesses in the future. Before starting RAVN, Wallqvist worked for BT and HP Autonomy, and has expertise in software development.

Creating ground-breaking AI

We started off our conversation with Wallqvist by asking him how RAVN was currently involved in the AI-space. “RAVN has created a ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence technology which organises, discovers and summarises documents, allowing all types of organisations to increase their efficiencies, productivity and mitigate risk as well as the additional benefit of increasing staff morale. This analytical platform is called the Applied Cognitive Engine, or ACE,” he answered.

“Recently RAVN has created specific business solutions on top of the ACE platform that helps organisations comply with regulatory changes. For example, RAVN’s GDPR Robot can help facilitate GDPR compliance by automatically identifying documents and other types of data in any business system which is subject to GDPR rules, allows users to view feeds on the latest personal data that requires attention as well as expedite requests for information,” said Wallqvist.

He continued, “RAVN also recently launched an analytical tool to predict and forecast outcomes by analysing historical data. A typical use case for this is the ability to predict the cost of legal matters and other types of projects using AI algorithms on data that has been surfaced using the ACE platform.”

Developing AI for law

The conversation swiftly moved onto the industries that RAVN is gaining the most traction in relation to AI. “Historically, RAVN’s software has been popular amongst the top 100 law firms both in Europe and North America but lately we have seen an increase in inbound requests and are now working with many legal departments in large corporations. An example of which is BT Group who use our software for contract review,” he replied.

“We are also working with organisations in the public sector, such as the SFO. There was a lot of press recently on the use of our technology in conjunction with the recent Rolls Royce investigation and subsequent settlement,” he added.

Wallqvist also highlighted the areas of business in which AI is having the biggest effect. “Our technology will have the biggest impact on business processes that involves a high volume of routine cognitive labour. For example, Junior Lawyers used to review thousands of contracts and enter data into a spreadsheet. This can now be done at least partially by a machine, leaving them to focus on higher value work,” he outlined.

However, they are operating in an increasingly crowded space, so we asked Wallqvist what sets RAVN apart from their competitors. “RAVN ACE is an Artificial Intelligence platform, able to perform a large amount of tasks on structured and unstructured data, e.g. organise, classify, discover and extract information for a variety of business purposes. This tends to differ from other players in our space that has a very specific point solution that only deals with one particular task. Our clients appreciate that we can perform those tasks as well as many others using the same platform,” he replied.

Cutting through the AI hype

AI is one of the key buzzwords of 2017, and there’s now a myriad companies looking to adopt AI into their business strategies. Wallqvist commented on this fact during our interview and explained how he believed AI will be adopted industry wide in 2017 and moving forward. “The majority of organisations will be investigating Artificial Intelligence and how it could be used in their organisation this year, although many firms had this on the agenda last year and are likely to be implementing the technology in 2017,” he offered.

“We’ve already seen how AI is truly transforming businesses from an operational perspective. Our clients, BLP, found the robot finished in less than 2 seconds work that would have taken a team of people 100 days to complete. This shows how organisations could increase their efficiency and productivity as well as mitigating risk as the machine doesn’t make ‘human errors’ such as typos,” finished Wallqvist.

However, adopting AI isn’t a very simple process. It’s actually full of challenges and we asked Wallqvist to outline what the biggest obstacles businesses face in the adoption of AI. “People still fear new technology and need proof that it will work for them. At RAVN we often start with a Proof of Concept on a small sample of documents before rolling it out to an enterprise licence,” he began.

“Often people worry they need to be technical to understand how the technology works but we break everything down for our clients in a non-technical way and make them think about the steps they go through as humans and how we are recreating this through technology,” Wallqvist finished.

AI’s next chapter

We finished off our conversation with RAVN’s Peter Wallqvist by asking him where he sees the company in five years’ time in relation to the adoption of AI. “RAVN is already moving into the realms of predication of outcomes with our ‘Predict’ applications, but this is something which we will expand upon, creating new use cases across all verticals,” said RAVN’s CSO and Co-Founder.

“We are also working hard on making the AI aspects of our software blend in to the background. The most powerful AI systems become part of the everyday routine and don’t necessarily stand out as “AI”,” he claimed.

“With offices recently opened in Mainland Europe and North America we hope to build our client base in these markets as well as the Australia, UAE and South Africa,” concluded Wallqvist.