Oodles of Documents at Your Fingertips – Literally!

Submitted by: Laurie Riedman, Xerox public relations consultant

If you’ve know anyone in the litigation, patent protection, government security or intelligence gathering industry then  you know the large volumes of data and the  millions – possibly billions — of documents that are involved in their day-to-day job.

And I thought my inbox overflow was a problem!

Enter some really smart researchers at Xerox Research Centre Europe who understand linguistics and statistics and a really cool digital table from PQ Labs and you’ve got a Smart Document Review prototype – just unveiled this week.

Being a techno-junky myself – I was able to take the system for a spin and here is how it works.

The system takes the pain out of having to sort thru millions of documents to find specific information.   I was able to drag a ‘categorizer magnet’ across the screen and documents in the database that meet specific search criteria were ‘drawn’ to the magnet and sorted and grouped.   Being a visual person – I loved how I could see the documents in the repository get attracted to the magnet and move along as I swept the magnet across the database.

developed by Xerox Research Centre EuropeI was able to place documents side-by-side for comparison, scaled up or down, or piled in a corner of the table, just as if they were real sheets of papers on my desk.  (Believe me – I have stacks of files and papers I’m staring at as I type this!)   By simply pointing to a few relevant documents,  I was quickly able to  “teach” the system what information is important.  This allows the system to get ‘smart’ so it can automatically categorize and sort millions of documents in hours rather than weeks.

I loved working on the touch table surface.  It was like using a giant iphone!  And, the large working surface makes it easy for several people to work together.

While the system is a prototype and not commercially available – I can see how this would help customers in data intensive industries like lawyers or patent attorneys free up time to focus on their real jobs at hand and leave the document discovery to a smart tool like this.

While you can’t play with one yourself – feel free to check out the demo to see how it works.

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