There is a high probability that your response would be the COVID-19 pandemic that still haunts the world.
On a positive note, based on preliminary findings, a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech showed 90% effectiveness in preventing the coronavirus. The pandemic may (hopefully) disappear soon, but the effects that the disorder related to it created for businesses will be hard to forget.
Today, we will look at the pandemic chaos from a different, less discussed but equally important perspective – keeping track of force majeure clauses – and will also discuss the ways in which Artificial Intelligence deals with the problem.
What is force majeure?
The force majeure clause is a part of the contract that frees the included parties from responsibilities and obligations in the case of certain events listed in the text, such as earthquake, war, hurricane, or pandemic.
Such clauses can be found in various documents such as association agreements, property and equipment lease, employment contract, etc. and it is important for companies as it serves as a temporary relief in unforeseen circumstances.
COVID-19 and force majeure
The coronavirus is arguably the single most damaging force majeure situation to hit the entire world, causing companies to tragically cancel projects, postpone events, and in some cases even close businesses.
As the pandemic affected all sectors and made it impossible for obligations to be fulfilled, lawyers and company representatives are being bombarded with tasks of reviewing all contracts to identify force majeure clauses.
Reviewing these documents, especially when it comes to a large company, is not only time-consuming, but sometimes even impossible, as some organizations have thousands of contracts with force majeure clauses in different places and different wording in each document.
Where can AI help?
Some might speculate that Artificial Intelligence was created to conquer the world but the real motivation behind this is not that thrilling since the main reason for AI development is to make people’s lives more efficient and simple.
And AI is exactly what solves the challenging situation mentioned above with a smarter solution that searches and finds the force majeure clauses in just a matter of seconds, an operation that would take normal person hours or even days.
How exactly can AI do that? Well, with the help of deep learning, computer vision, and optical character recognition (OCR), AI can easily understand your digital documents and almost instantly identify relevant and necessary information within the file, in this case, force majeure clauses.
Companies can set search parameters and artificial intelligence models will analyze contracts to determine if they contain force majeure clauses and if there is a specific reference to an epidemic.
The models are so intelligent that even in case of no texts directly related to an epidemic, it can also search for phrases inside the contract that discuss situations outside the control of the parties that may also apply to the pandemic.
All of this text is highlighted so that human experts can review the information and decide what the next steps may be according to the contract.
Thanks to the AI solution companies can:
- Perform the search more quickly and accurately
- Find relevant and useful information even if force majeure clauses are not included in a contract
Companies can now use AI technology not just for saving time and labor costs but also especially for matters that require human expertise such as identifying key information, locating missing clauses, highlighting the relevant passages, etc.
A real-life example
As one of our projects, we created a product, ExtractHD, that eliminates the tedious work of manual data extraction and instead automates it so that people can obtain the necessary information from digital documents in a matter of seconds, without problems.
At the core of this solution is computer vision and OCR, technologies that can also help companies quickly identify force majeure clauses, as we mentioned earlier.
No, AI is not taking over the world (yet). In fact, it can help people even in the most challenging situations, for example, COVID-19.
As much as we can hope that force majeure situations will not happen again, as the coronavirus situation demonstrated, we cannot ignore the importance of being prepared for them. Such disorder can cause many companies to go bankrupt or fail in fulfilling their contractual obligations. Luckily, AI offers a solution for this problem and it can help even with such complicated cases.
If your organization wants to save time and money by quickly finding force majeure clauses or automating text extraction and analysis, our experts would love to explore it further with a free consultation.