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Confronting a New Era of Data Complexity: A Roadmap for the Relativity Community

Chris Brown

This week we’re gathered in Chicago for Relativity Fest 2023, and is it just me, or have these first 24 hours been even more celebratory than usual?

We announced the winners of our tenth-annual Innovation Awards yesterday (sincere congratulations to each and every one of you!), and the sessions, labs, and workshops we’ve hosted so far have been enlightening and lively.

But our keynote is always the highlight that really kicks things off, and it’s my privilege to bring my team on stage to show you everything we’ve been building for you this year.

Relativity CEO Phil Saunders started the session for us with some thoughts on the power of and. Together, your team and ours can accomplish so much more than we can do alone. Together, you and your customers are tackling evermore challenging cases and complex data sets. Together, human intelligence and artificial intelligence can transform the e-discovery experience. We’re all in this together, and the Relativity community is a force multiplier for everything we put into the world.

Everything that we build into our software—the security, the AI, the ease-of-use features, the data collecting and processing power, the workflows, all this new and exciting stuff—is better thanks to you. We’re so grateful to have you by our side, helping us pave the path forward.

Without further ado, here’s a look at what we covered this morning, and what you can expect from us in the coming months.

A full recording of the Relativity Fest 2023 keynote is now available for on-demand viewing. Check it out to catch every detail of what we shared!

Transforming the Investigator and Reviewer Experience through AI with Purpose

Okay, first things first: the topic on everyone’s mind. Generative AI has been the indisputable theme of 2023. We’re at an inflection point for this technology, and it’s developing rapidly.

Look at the GPT timeline: OpenAI’s GPT-2, back in 2019, couldn’t complete the bar exam. In 2020, GPT-3 just barely outperformed random guessing. But GPT-3.5 made the scoreboard by competing with the bottom 10 percent of test takers—and by March of this year, GPT-4 scored in the top 90 percent.

Of course, this tech’s knowledge stretches far beyond the law. Insights covering a wide variety of subject areas combined with that legal knowledge is what makes generative AI particularly attractive to teams like yours. And we know this is just the beginning; tomorrow’s AI will be even better, and that progress is measured in months and quarters—not years.

At Relativity, our focus is on you, and we’re committed to rapidly and responsibly developing products you can use with confidence. AI for AI’s sake is not going to serve anyone—and in fact, it might endanger the important work you do every day. So, it’s essential to deliver AI responsibly.

“Relativity has integrated AI into its products for over 15 years, and I'm proud that in a year where many felt immense pressure to rush and deploy the newest AI development for the sake of being the first to do it, Relativity stayed true to its steadfast approach to thoughtfully innovate with purpose,” said Phil Saunders, CEO at Relativity, in our press release for the new product we announced at Fest this morning. “The product updates shared in today's keynote demonstrate Relativity's commitment to mindfully and responsibly leverage the power of the latest generation of AI capabilities to build purpose-driven solutions, fit for the unique needs of our community.”

With that, I’ll share our most exciting news of the day: the announcement of Relativity aiR for Review. Incorporating the latest generative AI capabilities into a thoughtfully designed product, this solution will empower you with newfound investigative and review speed, with all the defensibility and control you need, at scale.

aiR for Review substantially accelerates various stages of a litigation or investigative review, delivering rich case analysis with greater speed and quality. With aiR, users can quickly locate data responsive to a discovery request, material relating to different legal issues, and key documents, and view rationale surrounding aiR’s output and classifications.

Built on Microsoft Azure OpenAI Services, Relativity aiR, like all of RelativityOne, has an important foundation in the trusted security of an industry-leading cloud. Partnership with Microsoft also ensures access to the most advanced GPT models currently available as they continue to innovate and deliver better results.

Fest attendees got a sneak peek at aiR for Review this morning, and we can’t wait to roll it out to all of you. We’ve been fine-tuning the product and piloting with a core group of customer advisors for months, and I’m super pleased to share it will be released with limited availability by the end of the year, and general availability later in 2024.

In addition to our generative AI work (and there’s more to come here, too), to help you keep up with crazy volumes of data, we’re iterating on all the ways AI helps empower you to work faster and smarter in RelativityOne. For example, sentiment analysis—which will soon see updates and improvements based on your feedback since its launch earlier this year—is one area we’re particularly excited about. We’ve also made improvements to name normalization, in the interest of minimizing the time you spend QCing the platform’s results there.

Our AI Principles guide how we build our products, but so do you. We’re immensely thankful for all the input that’s gone into the developments we shared today, and really proud of the products that have come out of it.

Empowering Your Practice in New Ways

Our user community is busy in so many ways—busy managing data (their own and their clients’), busy keeping pace with the latest cybersecurity concerns, busy learning about the newest AI advancements, busy billing, busy trying to become more efficient so someday, maybe, they’ll feel less busy.

The work is important, and you do a great job of it. We’re here to help make it as painless as possible.

This year, our team’s been hard at work helping you tackle the demands of modern data discovery.

Management Console

One central component of all this busywork is keeping a bird’s-eye view on matter management—and more broadly, practice management. So we’re building RelativityOne’s Management Console to be a hub of practice management for your team.

Within the console, you can view matter details, access a workspace recycle bin (coming in October) to quickly restore recently deleted workspaces without help from our support team, zero in on the Cost Explorer to understand your team’s spend across RelativityOne and new solutions like Relativity Contracts, Relativity Data Breach Response, Relativity Personal Information (PI) Detect, and more.

Preservation and Legal Hold

A key to simplifying your work downstream is simplifying it upstream. Working efficiently and effectively on the left-hand side of the EDRM is essential to helping later stages, like review, flow more smoothly.

Relativity Legal Hold has been around to streamline the preservation process for a long time, and this year, it’s getting some new updates to help you work smarter.

We are excited to announce a new Preservation application that helps you preserve data from multiple sources in one case. It will also introduce capabilities to preserve Google data, and perform non-custodial preservations on Teams channels, Google groups, and Sharepoint sites, with additional sources—like Slack and Box—to come.

Additionally, you’ll be able to communicate with custodians using a new, comprehensive portal (and we’re including support for managed services, too).

The app is designed from the ground up for ease of use and flexibility, helping your team preserve evidence and avoid spoliation, uphold your regulatory compliance requirements, and mitigate risks—ultimately helping protect you against future litigation.

Collect in RelativityOne

Collect in RelativityOne has helped teams like yours ingest 141 percent more data this year than last—and a full 80 percent of that data moves into review workspaces. That underscores the critical role this stage plays in the e-discovery process, because targeting the right data right from the start will help your team move more efficiently all the way through to the resolution of every matter.

To help you narrow in on the really good stuff, we’ve introduced a new Preview option that allows you to get more details on the scope of your Microsoft 365 collections before you ingest everything fully. Soon, we’ll add Preview support for additional data sources, too.

More broadly, Collect now supports more data sources than ever. And we’re introducing a new integration with Microsoft Purview by the end of this year, providing a seamless way for you to transfer case data with an optimal review experience—and yes, that means automatically converting Teams chats to our Relativity Short Message Format (RSMF).

Finally, we’re also adding the ability to collect noncustodial data from Sharepoint sites, offering another option to capture completeness of evidence and collaborative data on your search for what really matters.

Import/Export

As you know, our mission here at Relativity is to help you organize data, discover the truth, and act on it. But you can’t organize data you haven’t gathered, or find the truth in information you don’t have. And once you do find the truth, action compels you to share that data with others.

For this reason, every important thing you do with Relativity depends on being able to bring in and push out that data smoothly. And that’s why we’ve built Import/Export.

Import/Export is easy to use because it exists as a web-based solution that makes workflows for all types of data simpler, with no context-switching or job-babysitting. You can drag and drop where it’s convenient, and use our Express Transfer option for larger data sets.

It’s also automated, processing your unstructured data automatically—and by the end of this year, it will automatically map custodians and convert Slack data into RSMF.

Of course, it’s also fast. Uploading data is now up to five times faster than anything you’ve experienced before.  

I’m proud to say that there’s no other product that can move petabytes of data this effectively and this easily. Hundreds of RelativityOne customers have already adopted Import/Export, and collectively, you’ve run 40,000 jobs in just the last few months.

Of course, we’re not done with Import/Export. The tool is built in such a way that we can quickly react to your feedback and keep making it better. We’ve delivered 120 new features into Import/Export this year alone.

There is so much more in the works for this product. If you haven’t jumped in yet, now is the time.

Tackling New Problems with New Solutions in RelativityOne

Part of enabling more innovative and effective work for your entire practice is giving you the tools to do more with the technology you already know. This year, we’ve launched several new solutions that offer an opportunity to expand your practice and provide more, smarter services for your clients—all within RelativityOne. Here’s a look at what we’ve got cooking.

Relativity Contracts

Released earlier this summer, Contracts empowers you to do more with your contract review process. With a robust viewer, powerful workflows, and AI, you can transform agreements into actionable, structured data—allowing you to make better decisions, faster.

Use Contracts to get a holistic look at your organization’s or client’s corpus of contracts and obligations. You can understand the variance of key clauses and terms, auto-populate choice fields with triggers that enact force majeure, and quickly cull down notice obligations by location and regulatory body. This month, we’re also introducing a large language model that will enable a native review and data labeling experience.

Relativity Personal Information Detect and Relativity Data Breach Response

The global average cost of a data breach this year is $4.45 million. That’s a 15 percent increase over the last three years. And that doesn’t even touch on the profound personal impact of having private information stolen by bad actors.

Globally, regulators are taking note. Between February 2021 and March 2023, 17 new countries enacted data privacy laws—and 20 more had bills to pass such laws in the works as of this past May.

Safeguarding the personal information you handle every day—and responding quickly and responsibly to any breaches—is top of mind for legal teams across industries and practices. As it should be.

We’re very excited to share a few new ways we can help: Relativity PI Detect and Data Breach Response.

Use PI Detect to find personal data with artificial intelligence—leveraging context and document structure to detect personal information with greater accuracy than searching alone. Then, because PI Detect is fully integrated with features like Review Center, façade redactions, and Import/Export, you can carefully safeguard that information throughout your review workflows.

Data Breach, meanwhile, uses 120+ pre-trained AI detectors to uncover vulnerable personal information from a compromised data set, then leverages entity clustering to consolidate records and simplify notification reports. Using AI and automation to accelerate your data breach response workflows can save an average of $1.76 million and 108 days per incident.

With a platform as powerful as RelativityOne, there is so much you can accomplish both within and beyond e-discovery. You all prove this to us with your innovative spirit and creative requests every day. We hope these updates will help you achieve even more—but keep us honest! Let us know your thoughts and your ideas for what else you need to be successful.

Architecting the Future of Short Message Discovery

The time has come when short message data contains some of the most useful insights for an investigation or review. Though this method of chatting with colleagues—using thumbs-up reactions and smiley faces and GIFs—feels casual and easy, getting key insights out of that data during discovery is anything but.

There are a number of challenges unique to short message data:

  • Collecting from all the various endpoints—cloud and on-prem, including individual cell phones—can be quite complicated.
  • Once you’ve collected this data, it comes in all sort of formats: .pst, .json, UFDR, and more.
  • A short message is not the same as a document—it’s an individual sentence or two that’s just a part of a larger conversation, but also has individual metadata of its own along with reactions, GIFs, and of course emojis.
  • The industry is still figuring out best practices for reviewing and producing this important content, so workflows are continually evolving.

And that’s why we’re architecting an end-to-end short message solution that addresses these challenges and more. It streamlines the process from collection of key sources, searching, and applying AI, to coding and producing this essential data. Meanwhile, RelativityOne retains metadata, extracted text, and coding decisions in the same place—simplifying search and enabling more powerful applications of AI.

Our solution is message-centric, not document-centric, and built on user-friendly, cloud-native tools and architecture that can scale to billions of messages. This approach is new, based on insights from customers like you, who are eager to transform short message review workflows with it.

Ready for What’s Next

Change is an unavoidable, essential part of life and business. It’s how we keep moving forward, how we innovate, and how we evolve. And though it can be difficult from time to time, we’re in it together—and that makes all the difference.

For those of you at Relativity Fest this week, we hope you have a great time, learn a ton, and make meaningful connections with us and with your peers in this community. It’s great to have you with us, and we hope you feel just as proud of how far we’ve come—and excited for what’s ahead—as we do.

At Relativity, we’ll take this week to celebrate with our community and highlight all the incredible accomplishments you achieve every day. And then we’ll get back to work, because there’s a lot more yet to do.

See What Relativity Can Do For You


Chris Brown is the chief product officer at Relativity. He leads our product and user experience teams and is responsible for the development of Relativity’s product vision, strategy, and product roadmap in collaboration with engineering.

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