Harvey, a startup founded by Winston Weinberg and Gabriel Pereyra, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to answer legal questions using a natural language interface. The startup received funding of US$5m from the OpenAI Startup Fund.
After being inspired by OpenAI’s GPT-3 text and code-generating system, Weinberg realized such systems to be influential in legal workflows. Pereyra said, “Our product provides lawyers with a natural language interface for their existing legal workflows.”
Harvey enables paralegals to describe tasks they wish to complete and receive the generated output. The AI saves time because lawyers can simply instruct the model instead of manually editing legal documents. Harvey leverages large language models to function and understand users’ intent and generate output.
For instance, Harvey can respond to questions like “Tell me if this clause in a lease is in violation of California law, and if so, rewrite it so it is no longer in violation.” Despite how well Harvey performs, it cannot replace human lawyers.
Pereyra says that with Harvey, they want to serve as an “intermediary” and not as a “replacement.” Harvey would bridge the legal and tech landscape gap by making lawyers more efficient and reallocating their time to more valuable parts of the job.
Given the intensely private nature of legal disputes, attorneys and law firms could be hesitant to grant Harvey access to case files. Additionally, language models tend to spread harmful information and social biases. Following the apprehension, Harvey comes with a disclaimer that it should not be used to provide legal advice to non-lawyers and always be under the supervision of licensed attorneys.