One of the most exciting panels at the 2022 ILTA Conference (What is Natural Language Processing and How can I Use It?) showcased dramatic breakthroughs in neural net technology to natural language processing (NLP). Pablo Arredondo, Co-Founder / Chief Innovation Officer, Casetext provided an intensely passionate tutorial on the history of AI through the centuries. The launch of commercial research systems such as Lexis and Westlaw in the 1980’s dramatically transformed legal research by making cases and statutes keyword-searchable. Arredondo enthusiastically proclaimed that neural net technology can now “free research from the keyword prison.”

Let’s start with a definition. Natural Language Processing is a multi-disciplinary field concerned with the interactions between computers and human language. NLP is also generally considered a sub-field in the broader field of artificial intelligence. As with other areas of AI, the two major approaches (the full story appears at this link  on Legal Tech Hub)