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‘Translate’ legal documents into plain language with new AI tool

While many of us encounter legal documents every day, many of us aren’t clear on what they fully mean. This AI tool hopes to clarify for us.

Two people sit at a desk reading over legal documents. One person makes a confused hand gesture while the other points to individual words to explain.

Legalese is an inherently exclusive dialect that affects a disproportionately high population–almost all of us–despite being actively read by relatively few; those few often come with hefty price tags, leaving most beneficiaries of legally binding agreements or documents with the difficult choice between scraping together the cash for an attorney or rolling the dice. DetangleAI bridges those choices with a third one, albeit with an asterisk.

DetangleAI is an AI-powered tool that can interpret and rephrase legal documents–a process the creator affectionately refers to as “detangling”–using more common language in an effort to make them more understandable to an average consumer.

The tool works in a straightforward manner, allowing the user to select a document from a URL, an uploaded PDF, or copied-and-pasted text as the input. Once DetangleAI successfully interprets the document, it will take the user to a checkout page where they can pay based on the length and complexity of the document. DetangleAI notes that most “3-5 legal docs” cost around $25 to detangle.

Naturally, you should always have a legal representative look over any impactful documents, and DetangleAI is clearly not a substitute for legal advice or representation. AI-generated content is still a relatively new frontier, and it’s very possible that your detangled document could have some important stuff missing. However, this tool could be vital in democratizing legal documents for people who speak English as a second language or simply cannot afford an attorney.

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DetangleAI also points this out, surmising that one would be better off using the service to “inform conversations with actual lawyers”–a noble goal in and of itself considering the potential for time-saving in an already very expensive meeting.

Secondarily, concerns about the privacy of one’s documents would be completely reasonable, and one might argue that no price is too great to pay for the preservation of one’s security. Thankfully, Detangle addresses these concerns right next to the tool itself. 

“You’re obviously uploading sensitive documents here. We’re fully aware of that and take the security of those documents very seriously,” reads Detangle’s security disclaimer. “In addition to industry-standard encryption and security, all documents and their summarizations are automatically deleted 24 hours after upload.”

DetangleAI is available for use now. An array of example detangled documents are listed below the tool for prospective users to investigate prior to committing to the service.

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Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

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