Talk about artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal industry. What are the odds?
It all seems familiar. Movies such as Terminator and Ghost in the Shell perpetuates the social stereotype that robots and humans are just different at its core. Let’s break it, robots generally perform better and adapt faster than humans. We all know the competency of Major Makoto Kusanagi or the threat Skynet poses to humanity.
But contrary to social perception, automation in the legal industry is not as foreign as we think to be. Believe it or not, these killing machines literally kills a load of legal research lawyers have to do!
Here are some examples of AI that are in the American legal industry:
As a lawyer specializing in drafting contracts for small and big clients, Bechor’s shift from lawyer to AI was an interesting experience.
He described this platform acts as a central analytical database that compares new contracts with past data which are similar. Bechor was convinced that a significant part of the reviewing process could be automated to increase efficiency.
Like us humans, these robots too learn through mistakes – except they learn them faster than we do. Hence, the adaption of smart contracts would mean that lawyers are no longer required in the drafting process as a layperson can form their own contract with the help of technology.
Now we all know that when it comes to technology, we as humans are struggling every day to keep up with the pace of developing technologies.
Jay Leib, founder and managing member of NexLP said:
“There’s this fallacy that human beings looking at the documents is the gold standard. Not true. They’re missing things”
This Leib’s Chicago-based company provides eDiscovery which is an AI platform that scans through numerous amount of data to pinpoint key information relevant to lawsuits and other litigation. Think of it as Google, for lawyers.
It is a legal research platform based on IBM’S cognitive computer Watson. Some of the biggest law firms in America are adapting to ROSS and has helped to tackle one of the main problem faced by the legal industry: legal research fees.
ROSS helps lawyers to research on large amounts of data and digests it to form logical conclusions. This means it could substitute and do the work of a normal lawyer efficiently without breaks.
With this, time and money are being saved. As they always say, time is gold. Lawyers now can focus more on engaging with their clients instead of engaging of cost-incurring and inefficient measures of reviewing documents.
However, are machines exactly as good as we think them to be? Reed Smith, an international law firm decided to put these two to the test.
It tested RAVN ACE, the AI platform from RAVN Systems against humans to conduct a review of hundreds of pages of documents.
The results …
Although the machine performed better than its human counterpart, it was not perfect. “The machine didn’t always get it right but it had high levels of accuracy, picking up things we missed.”, said Lucy Dillon, chief knowledge officer of Reed Smith.
This means that we will not see a full automation of robots in the legal industry but more of a cooperative effort and integration of AI to help improve the level of the legal field.
So if you think about it …
If robots can do things faster and better than us, it only makes sense for some part of legal research to be automated. In the bigger picture, customers will have a larger say to pay for the better product as a client will generate demand for such technology, as explained by Leib of NexLP.
So, we could possibly see a future in the legal industry where robots and humans can co-exist.
Sofia Lingos, a member of the Legal Technology Resource Center in America says, “It is wise to embrace it now so that it will be a tool as opposed to a hindrance”. Hence, if we can’t beat them, join them!
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