Thomson Reuters launches generative AI tools for legal research

Thomson Reuters' AI legal research tools take questions in natural language, synthesize answers

Thomson Reuters announced the launch of new generative artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives on Wednesday, including the incorporation of GenAI into the company’s legal research platform to help professionals with complex research.

The new functionality, known as AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision, allows users to pose complicated legal research questions in natural language and provides synthesized answers by citing Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw database that draws on 150 years of legal analysis and content along with links to other sources with regard to the relevant legal authority at issue.

"AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision helps lawyers quickly and efficiently find answers – from the simple to the most complex questions," David Wong, chief product officer for Thomson Reuters, and Mike Dahn, head of Westlaw Product Management at Thomson Reuters, told FOX Business.

"In the past, this research could take hours of poring through documents, cases, statutes etc., now with this technology, they can find the answers in minutes. And it’s using the most trusted legal content on the market in Westlaw Precision. This frees them up to focus on more high-value, strategic work," they added.


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Thomson Reuters announced a new AI-powered legal research tool that lets users pose questions in natural language. (Pascal Le Segretain / File / Getty Images)

To prevent the generative AI tool from "hallucinating" by making up case names or citations, Thomson Reuters’ AI-Assisted Research uses retrieval augmented generation (RAG) to keep the large language models that underpin the platform focused solely on the language of the content in the Westlaw archive.

"When asked a question, the AI reads through Westlaw content, finding the most relevant answers to some of the hardest questions, writes a synthesized answer to that question, and then cites the materials it pulls from in order to give confidence in the data," Wong and Dahn explained.

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Thomson Reuters is also planning upgrades to a GenAI assistant called CoCounsel, which has already launched and is available to customers but will get new skill sets over the next year as it’s integrated further into the company’s content and products.


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Thomson Reuters is planning to add new AI-powered skills to its research tool and CoCounsel assistant. (iStock / iStock)

Between AI-Assisted Research and CoCounsel, the company says attorneys and legal professionals using the platform not only get the benefit of AI-powered legal research but can also leverage it to draft, review and summarize legal documents. They can also use the tools to monitor contract compliance with contracts and extract relevant data from contracts for further examination.

The newly launched AI tools and those that the company plans to roll out going forward are developed using the Thomson Reuters Generative AI platform, which Wong and Dahn said helps the company quickly expand its AI product offerings by building on reusable components.


"It is a cloud native technology platform that uses an API-first development approach and incorporates Thomson Reuters UX and Design systems," they explained. "It enables Thomson Reuters to quickly and easily launch new generative AI skills by leveraging reusable components as the building blocks for future products. The Thomson Reuters Generative AI platform provides a safe, privacy-compliant, and reliable platform for generative AI development."