How Thomson Reuters Is Leveraging AI To Enhance Productivity, Rather Than Replace Jobs

Thomson Reuters is a famous information and news organization that has its roots going as far back as the 19th century. Established as the Reuters news agency in Great Britain in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter, it has become a leading newswire service in the world after merging with Thomson Corporation, a Canadian electronics publisher in 2008. Now the company which now has its headquarters in Toronto delivers a wide range of specialized information and news in various parts like accounting, trade, and law.

This massive organization has a global staff of 27,000 journalists and experts who work round the clock to provide quality content across different categories, enabling it to process a lot of information annually. Seeing how generative AI is packed with features, how more companies are beginning to use those features, and how it might seem like a legit opportunity to reduce their employees, spend less, and automate the process, it’d be difficult for them to ignore the fact that it could be useful in their newsroom.

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Rightly so, Thomson Reuters does see the advantages of using AI both from the employee and customer perspective, but it also understands that it’s not a replacement for its employees, it just isn’t there yet. With that being said, AI can boost the efficiency of its employees by taking away the little tedious parts and allowing them to focus on shining in their respective departments and also help customers find stuff easily. The company knows this all too well.

A company that dates so far back like Thomson Reuters would be reluctant to buy into generative AI, or it’s easy for anyone to think that at least. Well, anyone who does think that would be wrong as the company actually admits that it’s actually looking forward to the world of AI and that it is also working as hard to keep up with the latest technologies.

The Chief People Officer at Thomson Reuters, Mary Alice Vuicic, says that automation is only a part of AI’s potential and that placing more focus on this part could take people’s attention away from its greater benefits.

The organization admits that LLMs (large language models) being used in AI systems aren’t always accurate in their results and it intends to fix that shortcoming by using its in-house legal experts to correct errors and refine the answers that the LLMs come up with. That way it combines the capabilities of AI and the expertise of its experts to maintain accuracy and deliver very reliable information.

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Investing in AI

Thomson Reuters has put an investment of $100 million every year into developing AI tech. It also recently acquired another legal startup driven by AI, Casetext, for $650 million. The organization’s CEO, Steve Hasker, made it known during the announcement that this move is a step in their strategy to provide generative AI to their clients which is to “build, partner and purchase”.

Thomson Reuters also joined forces with Microsoft Office Copilot, making it a breeze for lawyers using Thomson Reuters legal tools to just shoot over questions in natural language queries right from Office. No more need to bounce out of Office to grab legal info.

The company has this idea that offering a safe space for employees to learn will totally give them the edge. It’s all about helping folks grasp how this tech can amp up their jobs and make them even more efficient.

With AI changing so fast and despite the company partnering up with Microsoft (which somehow means ChatGPT too), Thomson Reuters still keeps its options open in regards to which LLMs it makes use of.

According to Vuicic, AI is a way to improve efficiency in human workers or help customers use Thomson Reuters content more effectively. She also thinks companies that manage their adoption of AI effectively and those that use a human-centered approach to make the adoption faster will have an edge in the market.

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