Each case requires SFO investigators to review staggering numbers of documents. “The volume of data is a huge challenge,” said Day. Ben Denison, chief technology officer at the Serious Fraud Office, described some recent examples. “The Panama Papers leak involved 10.5 million documents. Our investigation into a bribery case with Rolls-Royce had 30 million. We’ve got one now with 60 million and another one in the pipeline with potentially 100 million documents.”
To meet these challenges, the SFO has turned to artificial intelligence (AI), a powerful new weapon in the fight against crime. Using AI to review, analyze and provide insight into vast amounts of digital content, the SFO can expedite its investigations and improve its chances of successfully prosecuting economic crimes.
“We’ve had to change the way that we work. We can no longer just sit in front of a data pool and throw search terms at it,” explained Day. “It would take a team of 10 reviewers three years to look through two million documents. It’s just not possible. We have to find defensible ways to cut it down. AI technology is no longer ‘nice to have’ for us—we have to have it.”
When the time came to replace its older generation eDiscovery technology, the SFO prioritized its requirements, with user experience at the top of the list. Denison described the selection process: “The case teams, document reviewers, investigative lawyers, forensic accountants and eDiscovery support people— all of these users were part of the bid review process. Much of the overall decision was based on user feedback, which is absolutely critical because you want to base the decision on whether the solution is really going to make an impact to the business.” Day added, “There was a lot of user testing, a lot of requirements and OpenText™ Axcelerate™ came out at the top.”
OpenText Axcelerate is an eDiscovery and investigations platform that uses advanced analytics and machine learning within a fully integrated, intuitive review interface. Axcelerate pioneered predictive coding for legal review and features a continuous learning model that is flexible enough to accommodate unpredictable, rolling data loads and evolving case theories. In addition to AI, Axcelerate integrates a variety of analytics and investigation tools that have helped Day and SFO investigators understand the story behind the data.
“We use OpenText Axcelerate to get the data to talk to us, with prepopulated metadata fields, analytics and visualization tools,” explained Day. “All those things very quickly help us understand where our data is. And, being able to do things quicker and better was at the heart of everything we wanted from a document review platform.” OpenText Axcelerate is now being used for all new cases at the SFO, and the early results are promising. “We’re presenting OpenText Axcelerate to investigators to use the tools and analytics to get to the documents and to understand the case quicker. That’s really important to us. OpenText Axcelerate changes the way that we investigate. It has become a much more intuitive and iterative process. We’re embedding that in the culture of our investigations now,” said Day.