At Deep Analysis, we are professional skeptics and we’re proud to admit it. Our skepticism is not superficial or reactive. It is rooted in a combined 60 years of hands-on experience with document management and capture products and honed on thousands of vendor briefings where claims of unique or first-mover advantages are thick as thieves. We do not deploy this skepticism lightly; we use it to advise our clients on vendor marketing claims that might be too good to be true.
Last week one press release made a claim that almost broke our skeptimeter. The headline claimed “industry-first 100% accuracy offering for document processing.”
The company behind the claim, Infrrd (pronounced in-furred, not infra-red), went on to say they could make this audacious offer because of advanced AI capabilities and a team of data experts. They backed this up with a performance-based pricing guarantee, which implies that one would pay less if the results were less than 100%.
Someone has finally dared to break the 99% barrier, which for decades has been the accepted marketing limit – and wisely so. This was big news. We had to dig into the claim and see what it really meant.
Loaded with skepticism and more than a few pointed questions, we reached out to Infrrd. Kudos to the company; they were courageous enough to provide us with two in-depth briefings, without analyst relations or PR spinners. (Courageous, because you would be surprised to hear of the IDP vendors who avoid a “Deep Analysis” because we might find an embarrassing gap between “marketing” and “reality.”)
The first briefing from the CEO focused on the business angle, and the second was an impressive, under-the-hood, technical deep dive by the development team. Infrrd have built a profoundly serious AI platform with intriguing upside, and we plan to cover that in more detail in an upcoming vendor vignette.
For now, here are our impressions of the 100% accuracy claim.
- The AI is exceptionally good, but it is not 100% accurate. As with any algorithm, training on a customer’s documents is required. Infrrd has an internal team that manages the inevitable exceptions or low confidence results, then corrects the data before it is passed back to the customer. The AI model is retrained with the correction and hopefully learns not to make the same error again.
- 100% does not mean 100% of your documents. Like other AI driven IDP solutions, Infrrd learns fast and does very well with structured and semi-structured documents like invoices, W-2 tax forms, purchase orders, billing statements, etc. They cannot promise 100% accuracy on complex, shifting, non-conforming long-form documents such as contracts and agreements.
- 100% accuracy does not always mean 100% straight-through processing (also called no-touch processing). The semantics are tricky here. Yes, Infrrd can send you correct data 100% of the time with their combination of software + human in the loop. But they have no down-stream processing obligations: the processing workflow is completely your responsibility, and we know how those break down.
Even if we may still question the 100% claim, we were impressed with what we have seen from Infrrd and indeed it has the potential to set a new industry benchmark. Furthermore, as most of Infrrd’s technology is home-grown and patented, matching it could be a challenge for other vendors. In summary, Infrrd has come at an old problem from a fresh data management and AI-first perspective. Over time, assuming good corporate execution, Infrrd could well become a pivotal player to watch.
How will other IDP vendors react to this bold claim? Will there be more 100% offers? We’ll keep a close watch as this unfolds.