Stealth startup Harvey has received $5 million through the OpenAI Startup Fund. The tool can be used by lawyers to read, understand, and edit legal documentation. It uses natural language processing to respond to simple requests and generate an output that can dramatically reduce the workload of lawyers.
A lawyer can use Harvey to edit legal documents and do research — simply tell Harvey what you want to do and it’ll understand the instructions. For example, a lawyer can ask if a clause is in violation of any laws and ask Harvey to rewrite it if required.
Harvey was created by roommates, Gabriel Pereyra and Winston Weinburg. Weinburg previously worked as an anti-trust litigator at O’Melveny & Myers and Gabriel Pereyra was a research scientist at DeepMind, Google Brain, and Meta AI. After Pereyra showed OpenAI’s GTP-3 to Weinburg, he knew that it could be used to streamline lawyers’ work.
In an email to TechCrunch, Brad Lightcap OpenAI’s CCO and the manager of the OpenAI Startup Fund said,
We started the OpenAI Startup Fund to support companies using powerful AI to drive societal level impact, and Harvey’s vision for how AI can increase access to legal services and improve outcomes fits squarely within our mission. We believe Harvey will have a transformative impact on our legal system, empowering lawyers to provide higher quality legal services more efficiently to more clients.
Harvey isn’t the only piece of software of its kind. It faces competition from Casetext, which also uses GTP-3 to search for legal cases, and other services like Klarity that remove superfluous information from briefs. It also has to overcome users’ hesitance to involve AI and third-party software in legal processes and concerns for data privacy.
The founders of Harvey state that the tool isn’t designed to provide legal advice and that it should be used only in the supervision of licensed attorneys to reduce the time spent on reading and drafting to allow focus on more important aspects of work.
In addition, Harvey’s founders say it meets data privacy requirements by making user data anonymous, deleting user data after a specified period, and not sharing data between clients — plus, users can also delete data at any time.
Currently, Harvey has a five-person team that’s already being used across a wide range of legal scenarios.