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Travers Smith launches innovative open sourced YCNBot


Travers Smith LLP has launched its latest open source project, YCNBot, in collaboration with 273 Ventures. YCNBot allows organisations to deploy ChatGPT, and its underlying capability, in a safer way to their people.

Created by the firm's pioneering Legal Technology team, YCNBot (which stands for Your Company Name e.g. TSBot), is available for anyone to download and deploy free of charge through an open source license, enabling, law firms and other organisations to replace the consumer facing ChatGPT with a chat-bot that plugs into Enterprise API's of Microsoft and OpenAI. This ensures essential enhanced controls around compliance, security and data privacy for businesses which handles confidential, sensitive and Personal Identifiable Information (PII).

TSBot has been rolled out across at Travers Smith, with lawyers and business services employees encouraged to learn, experiment, and provide feedback to the Legal Technology team. It will not be used for any direct client work.

Travers Smith developed the platform with guidance and support from 273 Ventures, led by Mike Bommarito and Dan Katz. The two companies will continue to develop and enhance YCNBot, building in further safeguards proposed by regulators as the technology continues to evolve. The latest version includes enhanced privacy, the ability to submit feedback, and an analytics view for administrative users.

Edmund Reed, Managing Partner, commented:

"This is just another example of how, as a firm, we place innovation at the heart of our strategy. We are committed to keeping at the cutting-edge of new technology and we set new standards and innovate into areas which are key to our clients.  By constantly scanning the horizon – both in technology and industry trends - we anticipate the future needs and demands of our clients to remain at the forefront of our markets."

Oliver Bethell, Chief Technology Officer, commented:

"Our team of Legal Technology and AI experts are focussed on research and development to understand how this incredible new technology could impact legal services in the future. By collaborating with Mike and Dan at 273 Ventures, we feel like we're really at the forefront of trying to understand how computational law will impact our markets and clients. YCNBot has been a fantastic catalyst for conversations with our clients, to understand how they are viewing the opportunities and risks of generative AI."

Shawn Curran, Head of Legal Technology, commented:

"There is no doubt Generative AI is here to stay and will play a critical role in our industry in the years ahead, but we do recognise the need to proceed with caution. There is a huge business potential in this emerging technology but whilst the enterprise chatbot market evolves, it was essential for us to ensure we could access the same technology in a secure setting for businesses which is why we developed and open sourced YCNBot. This has allowed us to fill the gap temporarily, enabling companies to interact with the technology for learning purposes in the safest possible way available at this time."

Travers Smith has an award-winning and genuinely market-leading Legal Tech team, which is utilising skills from both technology experts and lawyers and has delivered several original technological solutions including:

  • Launched Biblio, solving an issue with historic transaction bibles that were dependent on legacy software that had depreciated over time.
  • Launched Etatonna, the first legal industry data labelling AI platform, which labels concepts in contracts for the purpose of automated document review, which won a CogX award in 2022.
  • Automated eSignature closing process using DocuSign, delivering over 400 closings, at no additional cost to clients.
  • Open-sourcing Travers Smith’s legal technology, including Etatonna, to inspire collaboration in the legal market.

The firm has also written and published this paper titled "Asking the right questions: How automatic question generation algorithms boost conversational AI training data for law firms".

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Oliver Bethell
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Shawn Curran
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