Voice-first tech is the future.
If you haven’t been paying attention, voice-first technology like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have grown exponentially in the past few years.[i] The major player, Amazon’s Echo series, launched in 2014. Since that time, other players have joined the ranks of smart speakers, including Google Home and Apple HomePod. These technologies differ from Apple’s Siri because they are “voice-first.” Apple’s Siri uses voice to simplify tasks on Apple’s other apps. Voice first technologies provide content or complete tasks, many times with voice alone. To date, smart speakers reach over 57 million Americans, with increasing business applications.
This technology is quickly being adopted for legal services, and the future is wide open.
Tali: Hands-Free Time Tracking
Tali is a voice-first time-keeping technology developed by Three Matts, Inc. based in Portland, Oregon.[ii] Using Tali, time-tracking professionals can speak directly to their smart assistant to either track time with live timers or log time.
Tali users speak to log or track time with a number of prompts like “Alexa, tell Tali to log half an hour” (Tali then follows up with voice prompts like “what project is this for?” and “tell me what you did”). Users can then see the time entries instantly on Tali’s web-based dashboard. From the dashboard, users can read and edit various parts of the time entry including the time, project, date, and description (users can also add time entries manually through the dashboard). As of the date of this article, data from Tali can be then synced to Clio, Practice Panther, and Rocket Matter, and can be downloaded to spreadsheet.[iii]
Users report tracking 30% more time using Tali than traditional methods.[iv] This can make a big impact considering that the average lawyer reports billing only 2.3 hours per day (and collecting only 1.6 hours of billable time per day).[v][vi]
Developments on the Horizon
Others are joining the voice-first party as well. Australia’s Smarter Drafter debuted its Alexa integration prototype in January 2019.[vii] Smarter Drafter is an Australian-based drafting software company.
In 2016, Smarter Drafter released Real Human Reasoning™, its world-first technology that captures the legal decision making of experts, putting it in the hands of you and your team.[viii]
Sitting at the heart of Smarter Drafter, Real Human Reasoning™ enables its users to get their legal work done faster, and at a higher quality. They strive to help produce a firm with less stress for the lawyers, more time for business development, and bigger profits.
While legal document automation has been on the horizon for some time, adding voice-first solutions brings automation to another level. Using voice-first technology attorneys, assistants, or regular business end-users will be able to draft complex legal documents faster using conversational voice prompts to provide all the data currently provided using typewritten database entries.
Future is Wide Open
It is clear that voice-first technology is not going away. In less than four years, the technology is now in use by 57 million Americans. However, the experience is still very young. There are roughly 45,000 skills for Alexa in America. Compare that with the 2 million apps available in the Apple App Store or the 2.1 million Android apps available in the Google Play store.
The future of voice-first technology is being decided now. As legal service providers, we can wait and see what the market produces or we can actively engage in shaping the future. I vote for the latter.
[i] Use of smart speakers increased by 250% in 2018 and is expected to reach more than 300 million users by 2022. https://www.canalys.com/newsroom/smart-speaker-installed-base-to-hit-100-million-by-end-of-2018
[iii] Quickbooks integration is in the works. https://telltali.blog/whats-new-with-tali-february-2018/
[vi] I am a Tali user, so if you want to try it out, use my link and we’ll both get some love from the company https://www.telltali.com/?ref=BJmKGnOwG