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AI is about to shake up the legal industry

Posted by: Laurence Simons 31/05/16

Continuing from our recent focus of Artificial Intelligence and Technology in Law, this article explores the idea that AI can be perceived as something to help lawyers with their workloads and allow them to focus their efforts rather than seeing AI as any replacement solution to a legal team.

Careers in law have long been associated with long hours and strenuous workloads, particularly for newly qualified lawyers. While the long working days are partially a test of commitment, a large proportion of work completed by young lawyers is searching through past case law to determine how senior lawyers can approach a new case.

However Ross Intelligence, the start up behind a new AI program claims that they can save lawyers up to 30% of their time. The research system which is built on IBM’s Watson allows users to type in a question using the same phrasing as if they had asked a colleague and subsequently brings up all relevant examples relating to previous US legal cases. The system contextualises the words and phrases used by the lawyer, and uses natural language processing and machine learning to pick out all relevant information from reams of unstructured data.

AI is a hot topic in the legal profession and any significant advancements beg the question, will human lawyers one day become obsolete? However the majority of developments in the world of AI work to improve efficiency rather than render their human counterparts useless. Andrew Arruda, co-founder of and chief executive of Ross intelligence insists that research system is “an augmentation” of a lawyer’s skills, as opposed to a mean to usurp them.

Instead Arruda argues that improved efficiency would improve productivity and “allow lawyers to do a lot more with less” and could improve access to legal support. Although there is scepticism towards AI in the legal profession, there is no doubt that systems such as the one developed by Ross would make junior lawyers’ lives a whole lot easier.

Tagged In: Digital, Security/Data
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