The use of artificial intelligence is ever increasing in law, but we've a long way to go until lawyers find themselves threatened by advanced artificial intelligence.
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Augmented intelligence vs artificial intelligence - technology in law

Posted by: Laurence Simons 18/07/16

We recently published an article about artificial intelligence in the legal profession, but do you understand the difference between augmented intelligence and artificial intelligence?

While the vast majority of the legal profession has rejected the idea that artificial intelligence will one day render all lawyers unemployed, many remain cautious about the adoption of artificial intelligence software and the extent to which these programmes, commonly used to increase efficiency, will affect both their responsibilities and the way in which they work in the long term.

Though coined artificial intelligence programmes, much of the software currently available to law firms are actually examples of augmented intelligence. While incredibly ‘smart’, these programmes are not actually ‘artificially intelligent’ - they are in actual fact cognitive computing programmes which require continued expert human guidance.

Much of today’s legal AI software is based on machine learning and predictive data analytics which, it has been suggested, can reduce lawyer’s workloads by up to 30%. Programmes largely function as a means of intelligently searching through vast amounts of documents, or automating various business functions, and are far from the level of sophistication that would render the expert knowledge of legal professionals redundant.

While some in the legal profession have expressed scepticism towards the integration of augmented intelligence programmes, many have suggested that they have the potential to vastly increase the efficiency of highly laborious administrative tasks and allow firms to expand their services and create new types of employment within their firms. In reality, in the current form, ‘AI’ only stands to benefit legal professionals, rather than damage their career prospects.

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