7 thoughts on Lawyers losing their jobs to Robots

Noory Bechor, CEO LawGeex

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In a detailed piece, The New York Times looked at the likelihood of robots taking lawyer jobs. It was not alone in raising this scenario. In the same week came different stories with similar headlines: “Fear not the Robot Lawyer,” I Robot Took Your Job,” and “The Robot Lawyers are Coming” (with a caveat in this last article, at least, that these Robots are here to help).

Whenever lawyers (and non-lawyers) find out about LawGeex, which provides AI contract approval, these same concerns are raised. Are lawyers about to lose their jobs to Robots?

Here are some thoughts:

1) Lawyering is not entirely automatable

The threat of legal jobs being lost is not entirely science fiction. JP Morgan has created software that does in seconds what it is claimed took lawyers 360,000 hours. With the launch of our One Hour Contract Approval through AI automation (and human lawyers quality review) it no longer makes sense to wait a week or longer to approve a contract. Most organizations are cutting lawyers’ hours on this task. They are retargeting lawyer resources to more strategic work. But lawyering is not like car manufacturing. It is not entirely automatable. To cite one other article on this subject in the same week, a data scientist at a top eDiscovery firm says: “While there are functions of AI that are very well-suited to replacing many of the more defined tasks, legal practice requires advanced cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills in environments of legal and factual uncertainty”.

2) Lawyers do not like the drudge work anyway

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Lawyers are smart people and do not enjoy doing robotic legal work. This is work junior lawyers hated doing in the first place. Reviewing NDAs is not what anyone went to law school for. Most of our in-house counsel clients are quite direct that they just want burdensome processes and simple contracts off their plates completely.

For me, it was mind-blowing that some of the biggest companies in the U.S still create contracts and review everyday contracts manually. I was feeling this pain every day as a corporate lawyer, and that’s what convinced me that a significant part of this could be automated.

It is no surprise that so many “robot lawyer” creators — from Andrew Arruda (AI legal research) at Ross to Michael Mills Neota Logic Inc (AI expertise automation)— left old-world law. They are enhancing the profession for a new generation of lawyers to better enjoy their work (which I frankly did not as a corporate lawyer) and get home at a reasonable time. This is the biggest promise of technology. As we have said in a previous post, lawyers want to hire a robot to focus on more strategic work (in short to hire a Robot to (finally) get sh*t done).

3) Lawyers will use robots much like pilots use autopilot

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In the 1940s, airline pilots were also worried about the rise of autopilot technology. They feared it would take away their jobs, much like lawyers have expressed concern about technology today. However, the successful pilots were those that realized this technology could tackle the mundane tasks, and it ultimately gave them more tools and better data. The pilots that embraced this new technology paved the way in their profession, resulting in better working conditions, safer travel, and a boon to the airline industry that has changed the world today as we know it.

4) Robots are  dependable employees when hired

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We have had in-house counsel coming to us after a junior lawyer — having mastered their contract review and approval process —decided to move on. Not only was a valuable employee lost because of drudgery, but all the experience she had obtained went with her.  For this level of work hiring a robot makes sense. It does not forget anything, makes far fewer mistakes – and unlike the coffee-powered human reviewer, it does not get tired.

5) The legal pie is actually likely to grow

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In one more AI jobs article this week (“Robots are Only The Latest in a Long Line of Job Killers”), Andrew Coyne said that despite automation the world now has the biggest employment it has ever seen. In contrast, the legal sector is almost untouched by technology and has hit a wall for employment. If we take online travel (perhaps the industry which has become most automated and online in our lifetime) something fascinating happened. Since the algorithms and automation of online booking, replacing the old world of travel agents, the travel industry has actually grown in players and in revenue.

From an already sizeable 475 billion U.S. dollar revenue in 2000, the travel sector more than doubled to generate more than one trillion dollars in 2014. Like with travel, so for law. Vodafone Global Enterprise overhauled its in-house legal team invested in an 18-month transformation project underpinned by time-saving technology. Kerry Phillip, legal director at Vodafone, used this new strategy to increase her team from 35 in 2014 to a wider team of 80 — around 50 of whom are lawyers.

6) The new type of lawyer powers revenue and employment  

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Lawyers powering growth will drive employment, enhancing the strategic status of the lawyer. The Association of Corporate Counsel’s Global Census finds that entrance to the C-suite is now based on the in-house lawyer defining and delivering maximum value. In particular, this means using technology to demonstrate efficiencies and realize promotion prospects. Uber General Counsel Salle Yoo encapsulates the right type of strategic legal being indispensable for a company. “I always tell my team, we are not here to solve legal problems, we are here to solve business problems. The law is our tool and it’s the specialty tool we have.” To counter the argument of job cuts, Uber’s legal team has risen from one (when Yoo arrived) to 220 today. In our own experience, we have found our fastest-growing number of customers come from sales-driven companies who require deals to go through quickly and are saying no to old ways of doing things. To quote Uber’s Salle Yoo one more time “I’ve stopped counting the number of times the answer to a problem has been ‘well, it’s never been done before, but let’s figure out a way to move forward!”. Tech is a means to this business end. Data and AI solutions can provide detailed data analysis for metrics, measurements, and benchmarks against competitors in the industry, arming lawyers with the power to grow their teams. Using legal data and their law specialty to promote business goals, lawyers in IP are using technology to deploy big data sets to more effectively analyze the brands they are protecting. These lawyers are spotting warning signals of upcoming issues, ultimately increasing the value of the brand portfolio.

 

7) Technology will sustain a new type of lawyer (millennial, and a leader!)

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The skillset requires of lawyers have already changed. We have lived through digitization in courts, the embracing of e-Discovery and analytics, and witnessed an increased reliance on data to resolve disputes. Legal teams have seen technology and data-driven decision-making happening now. Tellingly. in his first message as the inaugural chair of the legal operations membership section of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Reese Arrowsmith said: “We have probably all read articles about how [AI] and other technology will reduce the number of lawyers needed. This truly fundamental change will require legal departments and the legal industry to rethink how they function, and the legal operations role will be instrumental in that transition. Companies are going to need to adopt, and will want to adopt, these new solutions.” This is a good thing for business and global economic growth.

The relationship with AI needs to be seen like switching to autopilot for certain low level tasks. This is quite different than submitting to new robot overlords. Embracing change will plot a flightpath for a resurgent, larger, smarter and more profitable legal profession.

For more information or a LawGeex demo Get In Touch.

Noory Bechor CEO and Founder of LawGeex is a man on a mission: to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The One Hour Contract Revolution

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One hour. It is something that still has meaning when it comes to speed and efficiency. The world’s most innovative company, Amazon has revolutionized shopping, offering One Hour delivery of goods. The online giant is even rushing steaming food from the best restaurants in cities to homes or workplaces within this sixty minute window.

Now, added to the list of One Hour advances, is contract approval.

For decades, contracts, despite being the cog of business, have not been processed anything close to fast. The Institute for Supply Management found that 60-80% of all business-to-business transactions are governed by some form of written agreement, with a typical Fortune 1000 company maintaining 20,000 to 40,000 active contracts at any given time. However a simple standard non-disclosure agreement takes companies a week or longer to approve. Pressed legal teams are undeservedly seen as a bottleneck. The majority of in-house legal departments at small and mid-sized companies spend 50% of their time reviewing contracts.

Introducing One Hour Contract Approval 

Today we can announce that in-house counsel and businesses can have The One Hour Amazon experience when it comes to approving contracts. While remaining in control, everyday contracts can be taken off the plates of organizations through automation. This is helping in-house lawyers, focus on more strategic tasks, improve consistency and ensure deals are sped up – making everyone from sales teams to the CEO happy.

How does this work?

Companies subscribing to LawGeex submit contracts via the platform. This is done simply via email, Slack, Salesforce, or drag and drop. LawGeex artificial intelligence engine reviews the contracts based on a legal team’s predefined criteria. Contracts that meet the criteria are approved automatically within the hour. Those that do not are escalated to the legal team with an interactive report which can be fixed on the spot.

There may be contracts (think IPOs or big deals) which will rightly need manpower and lawyers to pour over them. However, in an age of automation, everyday contracts are no longer something that lawyers should have to waste their expertise on (the top five most popular contracts run through LawGeex’s each day are NDA, service agreements, SaaS agreements, software Licenses and Purchase Order Contracts).

The One Hour Amazon Revolution is made possible by algorithms plotting seamless routes, and messengers traveling by bike, car, truck and subway to get your goods – or restaurant food – to you on time.

For LawGeex, One Hour contract approval involves us using AI to understand and interpret an exclusive corpus of more than 100,000 contracts. LawGeex follows a company’s legal playbook to make sure that it includes and excludes clauses based on a company’s individual preferences. Finally, the contract process is quality assured by top U.S attorneys.

Speed, accuracy and final checks are crucial when it comes to your dry cleaning or book and food deliveries. It is doubly important for businesses, where failure to review or approve contracts can make or break a deal. Some clients have told us that before using LawGeex they simply stopped reviewing certain contracts because of the volume, creating any number of unknown risks in an organization.

Companies deserve fast, affordable and effective contract approval delivered consistently with a great customer experience, as Amazon have done so successfully in revolutionizing shopping.

Like the leaders in other industries, we hail the powerful innovation of the One Hour Revolution.

Get in touch today for a demo to have One Hour Contract approval in your organization.

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv,  helping to bring about the legal revolution, one press release at a time. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

LawGeex‘s artificial intelligence solution helps legal teams automate the review and approval of contracts. We make in-house legal work easy, efficient and impactful, allowing our customers to focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.

What Our $7m funding means for LawGeex?

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The LawGeex team

Today we announced our new $7 million funding round which was led by a group of top-tier investors, including Japanese-based HR and information services company, Recruit Holdings, the owner of Indeed.com. See our full press release here.

This funding is a vote of confidence for our vision of “Automating the Legal World”. We plan to use the funds to further advance our product and technology, strengthen both our management and overall team, while continuing to promote LawGeex to businesses in the US market.

This is also a good time to focus on the progress we have made and major milestones achieved in the last few months.

There are several highlights and successes I would like to point to:

As a company, we have refined our product offering, focusing on helping legal departments automate their contract review process and shorten contract approval turnaround time.

In the past few months we have closed  major accounts with international brands, including leading U.S names in retail, finance and insurance.

We have also achieved major progress with our product, adding three killer features:

  • Playbooks – customers can set rules and parameters which incoming contracts are reviewed against.
  • Editor – customers can edit contracts directly in the LawGeex report without having to move to a different platform, like MS Word.
  • Smart Standard – allows customers to check external comments on their own template contracts.

We have enhanced our powerful AI technology, trained by leading U.S lawyers, engineers and global AI experts, to provide accuracy and efficiency for everyday contract approvals.

The market has also been moving rapidly in our direction, with AI established as a major buzzword, and businesses and in-house counsel actively searching for AI legal solutions for their contract needs.

Finally, on both a personal and professional level, I must say that these are exciting times. The legal market is rapidly changing and we are positioned to  take advantage of this opportunity by helping businesses enhance efficiency and slash time waiting for approval of contracts.  Our clients already report 80% time saved reviewing and approving contracts and 90% cost savings on manual review. I’m excited to see what additional improvements the future holds.

As always, the LawGeex team and I will continue doing our best to make you proud.

Noory and the LawGeex Team

_MG_4552 (1)Noory Bechor CEO and Founder of LawGeex is a man on a mission: to revolutionize the legal world through innovative technology. Noory combines his entrepreneurial spirit and years of experience as an international commercial lawyer to help other lawyers #lovelegal again, making their work easy, efficient and impactful.

Legal SaaS A.I. platform LawGeex raises $7 million in funding round

LawGeex founders Noory Behor and Ilan Admon

LawGeex founders Noory Behor and Ilan Admon

Legal SaaS A.I. platform LawGeex raises $7 million in funding round

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, March 7th, 2017: LawGeex, the leading A.I. contract review platform for businesses, has today announced the closing of a $7 million Series A funding round. The round was led by a group consisting of high-profile investors, including Japanese-based HR and information services company, Recruit Holdings, the owner of Indeed.com. Previous investors Lool Ventures and LionBird also participated in this round, bringing LawGeex’s total funding to $9.5 million.

“LawGeex is transforming everyday legal operations by automating the contract review and approval process. We help businesses run faster and smoother by removing the legal bottleneck,” said Noory Bechor, Co-Founder and CEO of LawGeex. “Customers who waited weeks to get a simple contract approved in the past, can now complete the entire review and approval process in under 60 minutes. This means corporate counsel and legal teams can finally focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.”

The LawGeex Artificial Intelligence reviews incoming contracts, approving them if they match pre-defined criteria, or escalating them to the legal team if needed. Legal teams can define their criteria based on best practices, or create their own custom “playbooks”, outlining exactly what the platform should accept or reject in any contract. By enforcing a single set of standards, LawGeex helps companies minimize legal risk and ensure compliance, while reducing legal bottlenecks and shortening contract turn-around time.

Rami Kasterstein, a seasoned VC and entrepreneur who joined the company’s board as representative of the investor group, commented: “The legal industry is lagging behind as one of the last industries to adopt digital automation. A large portion of lawyers are still using pens, paper, printers and faxes to do their job. Within 10 years the way legal professionals operate will be dramatically different. LawGeex is at the forefront of this disruption, using A.I. to deliver a practical solution to challenges faced by businesses today.”

LawGeex’s currently supports a wide range of standard business contracts, from NDAs to purchase orders and software licenses. The additional capital will be used to further advance LawGeex’s A.I. capabilities, enhance its SaaS offering, and continue building a world class team of engineers, data scientists and legal experts.

About LawGeex

LawGeex (www.lawgeex.com) is transforming legal operations using artificial intelligence, and helping businesses save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars reviewing and approving everyday contracts. Founded in 2014 by international lawyer Noory Bechor and leading AI expert Ilan Admon, LawGeex enables businesses to automate their contract approval process, improving consistency, operational efficiency and getting business moving faster.LawGeex combines machine learning algorithms, text analytics and the knowledge of expert lawyers to deliver in-depth contract reviews using the legal team’s pre-defined criteria. LawGeex removes the legal bottleneck, helping customers and their legal teams focus on the big picture without getting lost in the paperwork.

 

For more information, please visit http://www.lawgeex.com or tweet us @lawgeex_.

 

Media Contact

Jonathan Marciano

Communications Director

jonathan@lawgeex.com

+972-586-135-342

 

 

 

We went to a legal conference and did this…what happened next?

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It was one week before the legal industry’s main tech conference, Legalweek. For the past two years, the LawGeex team of lawyers, engineers and data scientists worked day and night,  enhancing and revising our contract review automation platform. We had received plenty of amazing feedback about cost and time savings from in-house lawyers. But we had not yet invested substantially in marketing and nothing close to the upcoming investment of a presence in front of 10,000 attendees at a top legal conference.

But, a week before the legal conference we still had no tagline for our booth, which represents the “shop window” at an event. Our objective was to have a slogan for our stand which connected as directly as possible to the pain points associated with contract review. But we were aware of traditional viewpoints that lawyers are risk averse and have a “fixed mindset“. We needed a marketing brainstorm to find a suitable message.

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Our main concern centered around how direct could we be to an audience of lawyers?  Lawyers, we are told,  focus on the past and precedent.  They are gradually moving to a new direction, away from pinstripes to sweatshirts, but are we there yet? How much could we push the envelope?

The initial part of our phrase, “Hire a Robot” symbolizes the fun and non-threatening approach to technology. It signifies hiring help for lawyers to end the robotic routine processes in reviewing and approving contracts. We then came upon the phrase “Hire a Robot. Get Sh*t Done.”

It came about as someone, said during the brainstorm: “I think what we are essentially saying is that lawyers are passionate, know that they add value and basically want to “get sh*t done’”. Though we laughed and toyed with many other taglines, we kept returning to this catch-all phrase. It effectively sums up the direct approach we heard from time-strapped in-house clients who wanted to do more with their day. Reviewing standard business contracts is not why they went to law school.

The Direct Approach 

But would the poop hit the fan when we tried our message with lawyers? Urban Dictionary  helps us understand the phrase. The crowd-sourced dictionary of slang words (which is even relied on in  court) defines ‘get sh*t done’ as the will “to accomplish things and stuff”. The site helpfully gives an example: “I really need to concentrate on getting sh*t done these next few weeks.” It plays to the problems of small and medium-sized legal departments who want to skip the mundane, and get on with higher value, more strategic work. It is one of a number of hard-edged life quotes which are made into posters. These quotes appear in  high-tech offices such as in Silicon Valley (others are  ‘Life is Short. Do Stuff That Matters’) showing innovation and disruption.

LawGeex’s own team of experienced lawyers of all jurisdictions and backgrounds (who teach and train our A.I. system and carry out quality assurance) were divided. One camp said lawyers are incredibly bound to tradition and even a sniff of controversial language was “not appropriate” . The counter argument is that actually, though a little bit shocking at first, it is really a correct assessment of what lawyers’ priorities are today.

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Did the Sh*t Hit the Fan?

Fast-forward to the conference, and in short, almost everyone who passed by the LawGeex booth smiled as they read the slogan. The direct message, and being true to our product’s value,  was not lost on our audience. One in-house lawyer (we hope will soon be a client) adopts the same type of slogans in his legal team as motivation for his team to think differently.  True, we’re preaching to an audience of innovators in legal, but in our view the acceptance of a new tone is a big step in a new direction.

Our experience suggests that we should push boundaries. It is a philosophy that has worked for others in adopting legal technology. Chicago-based Seyfarth Shaw uses the direct approach in its lean-management principles. The firm drives revenue growth of more than 20 percent through offering this direct challenge to lawyer’s problems.  Kim Craig Managing Director of Lean Solutions at the law firm says: “The really critical outcome was when one of our partners asked the general counsel: What keeps you up at night? The General Counsel replied that he’d never heard a law firm ask him that, except during open bids for new business. It turned out that what he really wanted was a better work-life balance. He hoped that better processes would let him spend fewer hours worrying about work. It’s amazing to realize that these changes can actually improve someone’s quality of life”.

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Being direct is part of our makeup as a new company that lives by and encourages transparency. We face constant direct questions from top investors and top legal experts, and from our super savvy clients. This ensures at every step we must be simple and direct. We also build our product to be simple and easy to use.

So our  ‘controversial’ message returns for our next legal conference, 2017 Mid-year ACC Meeting (2-4 April) in New York. We look forward to seeing you there. Our tin robots will be available again (in case you missed out last time), along with key rings and stickers.

Our message is clear: we help legal teams automate the review and approval of standard business contracts, using Artificial Intelligence technology. We  make in-house legal work easy, efficient and impactful, letting you focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.

Now, if there was only a more direct way of saying that.

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv, helping to bring about the legal and robot revolution, one press release at a time. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

Top 10 tweets and trends from Legalweek 2017

 

New York in February saw the latest in legal news, predictions and buzz for three days at Legalweek 2017. We picked the 10 best tweets from the conference, revealing the essential legaltech trends.

1. The minority in the legal profession are making the major changes. Stark findings from the In-house team at Microsoft showed that innovation is only being driven by around 10% of the profession. The majority are lagging behind.

2. The dawn of Artificial Intelligence has arrived. LawGeex, the contract review and approval automation platform, showcased the technology through hundreds of product demos, reflecting the buzz for new technology. The direct slogan at the booth, “Hire a robot. Get sh*t done”, was very well received, as were the robot give-aways. In the keynote speech Andrew Mcafee, MIT scientist and author of the Second Machine Age, said AI in legal was “ready to go”. Discussing the likely pace of change, he quoted Ernest Hemingway: “How does a person go broke? It’s gradually, and then it’s suddenly.”

3. Technology will stop chores and see more law. Bob Ambrogi, the legal and tech evangelist and expert, and Andrew Arruda of Ross Intelligence (bringing AI to legal research) summed up the essential message of the show in one great tweet.

4. The end of the billable hour is a decade away.  Stanford Codex Fellow Monica Bay in a special panel discussion of eDiscovery, said: “There tends to be a lot of “protectionism” from lawyers about the unique value they offer as attorneys,  but ultimately “lawyers’ entire jobs are going to dramatically change.”

5. The millennial lawyer has arrived. Ian Connett who blogs as MillennialGC, and is Legal Director of Collective in New York, knows a thing or two about the clash of old and new. He was among those at a session showing the impact as tech-ready millennials start to take on more leadership roles.

6. Clients wont tolerate inefficiency.  With higher client demands and younger and more forward-thinking firms starting to focus on efficiency, we’re now seeing resistance to efficiency crumbling, paving the way for digital innovation.

7. In-house counsel are finding better ways to get data faster. In-house counsel are finding better and more organic ways to collaborate to get data and manage it faster during an investigation.

8. The Cloud is the new norm. In the words of Dennis Garcia, assistant General Counsel at Microsoft “Big Law is Going to go Big Cloud in 2017”. Among law firms, 71% are using more cloud computing (such as used by LawGeex award-winning solutions) in 2016 compared to 2015. ALM Intelligence also found nearly 66% of lawyers use mobile devices to complete legal work with clients.

9. Any conference can be enlivened by cute puppies. There were lots of cute pictures of puppies from the show. Patrick Gleason Vice President Legal & Corporate Consulting at Chase Cost Management tweeted it best on puppy power’s ability to survive any technological shifts (kudos to howtomanageasmalllawfirm.com for providing the puppy lawyers).

10. Finally, it just wouldn’t be Legaltech without the weather. Brad Schaffel ‎Litigation Support Manager at ‎WilmerHale snapped the picture of the event, showing the charm of New York in February.

 

Jonathan Marciano, Communications Director at LawGeex, is  originally from London. He is  currently in Tel Aviv,  helping to bring about the legal and robot revolution, one press release at a time. Follow him on Twitter. @J_Marciano

LawGeex‘s artificial intelligence solution helps legal teams automate the review and approval of contracts. We make in-house legal work easy, efficient and impactful, allowing our customers to focus on the big picture instead of getting lost in the paperwork.

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest legaltech event of the year takes place on January 31….and we will be there

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The biggest legaltech event of the year takes place from January 31 to February 3 in New York City.

Legalweek (previously Legaltech)  is the largest legal technology event of the year with over 10,000 attendees including legal tech evangelists and in-house lawyers.

LawGeex, the leading SaaS AI contract review platform for in-house legal teams, will be providing demos of its automation technology which has seen our clients experience an 80% reduction in the time spent reviewing routine contracts. Customers have also saved 90% of the cost they would otherwise spend on outside counsel.

Come and visit us on the main floor (level II) at booth number 528…and you may even get a robot!

Register here for admission to Legalweek Conference! Tickets start at $45.

On January 30th, LawGeex CEO Noory Bechor speaking at two major panels on the future of legaltech, including a talk on the best in-house innovation entitled “My Other Lawyer is a Robot”. 

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