Wednesday, December 20, 2017

New startup is building robots that read documents 10x faster than humans

Ripcord is a new start-up that's building robots which can remove staples, scan massive amounts of  hardcopy documents and, it sounds like, turn the result into a searchable digital database. Will these robots replace legal secretaries and other law firm support personnel such as paralegals, at least with respect to photocopying, indexing and organizing documents?  And once everything is scanned and uploaded to a digital database, you would only need to mate that database to an AI program that can search for and identify, for example, privileged  or work-product documents.  And, viola! You don't need to hire associates to do that anymore. From the Business Insider:

This former Apple prodigy just got $25 million from Google Ventures to build giant paper-reading robots


In 1996, at the age of 16, Alex Fielding went to work for Apple, where he worked on the first iMac under the just-returned cofounder Steve Jobs. From there, he started a company with Steve Wozniak, Apple's other cofounder.


Nowadays, Fielding is the CEO of Ripcord, a startup running a growing factory floor populated by custom robots designed to scan, store, and index tremendous piles of paper for later retrieval, ten times faster than a human could do it.


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What Ripcord sells is a way for companies, especially publicly-traded companies and universities, to manage the massive amount of information that passes through their physical and digital doors. He says paper has been "exiled" in the shift to digital, but he wants to bring it back to the fold.


The vision, says Fielding, is to take all of a company's knowledge, digital and otherwise, and put it all in one easy-to-access place.


"There's so much stuff that's not searchable by technology," says Fielding.


A key part of Ripcord's solution comes from the aforementioned robots. Companies send Ripcord boxes upon boxes of paper records, and the robots remove staples and scan them in. From there, the information is retrievable from Ripcord Canopy, the company's PC, mobile, and web app for sifting your data.


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