Artificial Intelligence in Law
By Afia Ahmad
Compared to other industries, the legal sector has been slow to change and thus slower to embrace the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, today many legal firms have adopted AI to save costs and ensure lawyers focus more on tasks that add value. The days of hiring paralegals to scan documents or sort out tickets are reducing with law firms quickly implementing Artificial Intelligence systems to automate some of these menial jobs.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI creates technological systems and software to perform tasks similar to that of human intelligence. In simple words, AI develops ways of making computers think like humans. It is a science and technology based on Computer Science, Mathematics, Linguistics, Biology, Psychology and Engineering. The Father of Artificial Intelligence, John McCarthy quotes it as, “The science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.”
Artificial Intelligence in Law
Law is more or less a framework of rules which sometimes demands the need for computer programming. So in many ways the applications of Artificial Intelligence perfectly suits the legal industry.
Initially, AI looked for keywords in megabytes of Data. But it has come a long way since then. Through Predictive Coding and new learning abilities, AI can quickly sift through records by context and offer important information. Artificial Intelligence primarily deals with enabling lawyers to focus on creating legal content (For eg. planning a legal argument) rather than manually completing routine work (For eg. document drafting).
The current applications of AI in legal work include preparing contracts, conducting litigation analysis, legal operation analysis, due diligence, legal research along with tremendous other possibilities.
Apart from AI handling mundane work at a faster pace, law firms have gone one step ahead to take full advantage of Artificial Intelligence. Here are two ways to find out how:-
Law firms have started using chatbots to increase user engagement by steering potential clients to useful information about the firm. The chatbot’s simple to use chat interface can learn about the requirements of potential clients, offer legal advice or answer initial queries. Through the bot’s conversation history, lawyers are already aware of client’s background. Law firms need to include robust Natural Language Processing (NLP) for potential clients who are unfamiliar with correct terminology. Chatbots have become increasingly popular to upsurge business for law firms.
Started by a Stanford student, DoNotPay is a chatbot that uses Artificial Intelligence to help people fight parking tickets and legally aid refuges seeking asylum.
2) Machine Learning
Law firms with Big Data are resorting to Machine Learning to review data quickly and as effectively as possible without any initial training. This prevents firms from spending heavily on research. Machine learning ensures impartiality if Judges make all their final decisions in writing. For instance in US, law firms that adopt Machine Learning quickly scan tons of data to detect any wrong judgment.
The future of AI in Law
Artificial Intelligence is changing the entire dynamic of the legal department for thousands of companies globally by ensuring more cost effective and efficient lawyering. In the wake of ROSS, the world’s first AI lawyer hired by a US firm, there are theories stating lawyers will be replaced by robots in the years to come. While AI technologies will enhance the work of a lawyer, experts believe that it is still a long way from replicating the analytical/problem solving skills and intuition required to be a good lawyer.
Law firms that continue to use AI will bring greater savings than ever before and those that fail to embrace AI will get left behind.