Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

Thomson Reuters partners with Microsoft for generative AI push

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Thomson Reuters said Tuesday it had partnered with Microsoft to create a contract drafting plug-in for Word powered by artificial intelligence and plans to roll out generative AI integration for its suite of legal products, including Westlaw Precision, later this year.

The company plans to invest $100 million annually in generative AI. It said the new plug-in will initially work with Word in Microsoft 365 Copilot, the AI assistant feature for Microsoft 365, but will eventually feature in other apps in the suite.

In a videoconference with journalists, David Wong, the chief product officer at Thomson Reuters, said the integration with Microsoft 365 Copilot and planned updates to Thomson Reuters’ suite of products, including Westlaw Precision, Practical Law and Legal Document Review and Summary, “aligns to our vision on generative AI that it has to be about improving the efficiency, as well as the delivery of work.”

“We hope lawyers will ultimately see dramatic time savings in some of the most routine parts of their work but also ultimately better work product,” Wong said.

In prepared remarks, Microsoft executive Andrew Lindsay said the tech giant was “thrilled to collaborate with Thomson Reuters to extend Copilot with new AI-powered experiences that will support legal professionals by saving them time and helping them drive value for the clients and businesses they serve.”

Wong said Microsoft would demo the integration between Thomson Reuters’ contract drafting solution—which the company said in a May 23 news release was “powered by its legal products and content”—and Microsoft 365 Copilot for Word on Wednesday morning at a Microsoft Build event in Seattle. Microsoft will roll out the plug-in in the “coming months,” according to Wong, adding that Microsoft has final say on when it comes out.

Noting that Thomson Reuters has 125 AI engineers and 1,500 trained lawyers working on its products, Wong said the company will beta test its generative AI products with a select group of customers. Wong added that the company was “leveraging” OpenAI’s GPT-based technology but was also “exploring a broad range of large language models.”

Data, security and privacy have been at the forefront of legal professionals’ concerns about generative AI. Wong said Thomson Reuters guarantees that it will only work with large language models that are not trained on customers’ prompts and data.

“We are not going to learn off of our customers’ data for the benefit of the entire population of our customers unless customers have positively indicated they’re willing to do so. Our default position is it is private to the customer,” Wong said.

Thomson Reuters’ competitor LexisNexis announced its foray into generative AI earlier this month, when it released Lexis+ AI, a new platform for case research and document drafting. It has partnered with Microsoft for an intake application that works with Microsoft Teams called Lexis Connect.

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