In the largest deployment to date of an artificial intelligence solution within the professional services arena, Deloitte’s US business has entered into partnership with Kira Systems to bring its machine learning-based contract review capability directly to Deloitte’s clients.

Deloitte rolled out Kira Systems’ contract analysis software in the autumn of 2014 across its audit and consulting business following a pilot in each.  In a measure of the success of the roll out, the Big Four accounting giant already has 3,000 active users.

The alliance combines Deloitte’s business insights in cognitive technologies with Kira Systems’ advances in machine-learning in creating models that quickly “read” thousands of complex documents, extracting and structuring textual information for better analysis.

Since rolling out the software, Deloitte has trained Kira to identify thousands of data points across hundreds of client projects – some of over 100,000 documents.

Deloitte-customized instances of the Kira platform together with Deloitte-trained models have been rolled out across the organization’s audit business under the name Argus and across its consulting business under the name D-ICE, with applications also being explored for its tax and advisory businesses.

Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Kira Systems’ CEO Noah Waisberg said: “As far as we’re aware this is the largest professional services AI deployment anywhere, period. One piece of the story that’s really neat is the sheer scope of the deployment.

“What’s remarkable is how Deloitte has been able to teach the system to find what they need it to find and introduce thousands of new provisions. Unlike in eDiscovery, where predictive coding won’t work out of the box, our system comes with lots of knowledge built in. It knows how to find things like the contract parties or the governing law, but Deloitte has been able to teach it lots and lots of new information. Deloitte has literally taught their versions of Kira to find thousands of new data points. For example, revenue recognition and pricing across differently industry verticals such as pharmaceuticals and real estate.”

This capability holds broad applications for the marketplace as the extensive review of documents goes into many pressing business activities, including investigations, mergers, contract management and leasing arrangements.

Craig Muraskin, managing director of Deloitte’s U.S Innovation group said: “Wading through miles of corporate jargon hunting for key words and patterns can consume considerable time and resources. By teaming with Kira Systems we can help organizations reduce their review time while redeploying talent to higher value activities – let’s save our eyes for more strategic matters.”

Waisberg added: “Artificial intelligence has arrived to a point where machines can scale human expertise by extracting information from complex documents.

“It accurately identifies information by learning from examples versus just reflexively identifying pre-programmed clauses.”

Kira is built on advanced state-of-the-art machine learning – as opposed to rules-based technology – and delivers accurate results even on new and unknown agreements.

“Our approach to innovation is to use creativity and ingenuity in finding practical applications for the latest technologies,” said Ragu Gurumurthy, chief innovation officer at Deloitte.

“That’s what Deloitte and Kira Systems are doing with this alliance – it’s bringing together two organizations working on the forefront of innovation in a way that can bring pragmatic yet powerful benefits for businesses in a range of industries.”

In October 2015 Deloitte won Audit Innovation of the Year Award from the International Accounting Bulletin for Argus, although at the time, Kira Systems involvement was not made public.