Image: :Nuthawut Somsuk, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Legal and compliance technology company Relativity has announced its acquisition of Text IQ, which uses AI and machine learning to identify sensitive information contained in unstructured data.

Anything that isn’t built with a set record format is considered unstructured data, and it’s estimated that approximately 80% of the data businesses deal with daily is unstructured. This can take the form of social media posts, images and audio, emails, web content—basically anything that isn’t in a spreadsheet or database could be thought of as unstructured.

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Unstructured data can be hard to parse and often contains sensitive personally identifying information (PII) and other data associated with GDPR compliance and data subject access requests. If unstructured data is stolen during a data breach an organization may not know what has been leaked, and discovering the info in exposed records can take a considerable amount of time when done by humans.

Text IQ uses unsupervised machine learning, graphical modeling, social network analysis, natural language processing and deep learning “to lower the cost and risk of legal privilege review, speed up and increase the accuracy of data breach response workflows, and quickly identify and manage [PII],” the companies said in a press release announcing the acquisition.

Privilege reviews, a legal process during which lawyers and clients review documents applicable to legal discover requests to search for data covered by attorney-client privilege, are highlighted as a particular area where the merger will help RelativityOne and Relativity Trace customers. Such reviews, Relativity said, can take thousands of hours and are subject to human error, but “Text IQ’s flagship product reduces the time and cost of conducting privilege document reviews by up to 75%, and significantly reduces the associated risk.”

In addition to finding privileged information in unstructured data, Text IQ is also able to build “Socio-Linguistic Hypergraphs” from social media content. These hypergraphs contain relationships between people, how they communicate, how their communication differs between different groups, and other data that is ” impossible to gain through manual review or supervised review,” the companies said.

Text IQ’s acquisition by Relativity doesn’t mean it’s going to disappear, though, so its customers shouldn’t be concerned. Instead, Relativity plans to integrate Text IQ’s toolset into its existing products, while Text IQ will continue to offer its privacy, legal and compliance, and unconscious bias detection software.

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“The fusion of our companies and technology will deliver on the promise of AI in a way that our industry has yet to experience all while ensuring that ethical and unbiased AI is at the core of everything that we do,” said Text IQ CEO Apoorv Agarwal.