A small entry in the May 2005 Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (pg. 65) announced that Synthetix ®, software from Syngence LLC, is a “search method which ‘thinks’ just as a human would to determine the meaning of passages … of text.” The announcement focused on using the software on testimony from a deposition or trial to find passages in other documents (stored in databases), listed in order of their relevance.
Technology being at issue, I tread cautiously here. If the software works even passably well – and having used voice recognition software for years I use “passably” with modest expectations – a law department lawyer could mark a key paragraph in an agreement and let the software find variations or glosses on it among the many other documents on a database. (Assume the department’s documents are available in the appropriate database.) The more precisely this worked, and the more documents in the searchable database, the richer the supply of relevant finds. Further, the software would strongly promote knowledge management.