Lawyer-bots take legal firms by storm
Lawyer-bots: A New Cause for Unemployment?

“Artificial intelligence is about replacing human decision making with more sophisticated technologies” by Falguni Desai is justified as AI enters legal firm. The current debate focuses on the battle initiated between robots and lawyers as latter one fear for their jobs. Although the entire buzz of AI in law firm is extremely amusing and mind blowing, but in current situation it has nothing to do with the AI currently being used. The entire concept of AI seems enticing and a bit scary. Thus, it becomes very important to differentiate between weak AI and strong AI.

The AI that is being used in law firm is a type of weak AI or ‘shallow’ AI as we may call it. It cannot make decisions and has no self-awareness. It may seem intelligent but it still has limited functions. Whereas, the strong AI can be distinguished as ‘deep’ or Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). AGI has not been introduced yet but speculations are made that it will be able to match or in some cases even exceed human intelligence. The abilities of AGI may include the ability “to reason, represent knowledge, plan, learn, communicate in natural language and integrate all these skills toward a common goal.”  The introduction of strong AGI is highly debated topic among the scientific communities as AGI poses some serious threats to the mankind. As for now, there is nothing to worry about because the AI tools used in the law field are weak AI tools.

Weak AI cannot solve the problem, as it relies on the models of its problems given to it by programmers. Hence, it can only ‘understand’ the particular problem domain. Weak AI is also unable to perform autonomous reduction and lacks the skills of contextual perception of abstract concepts and logical reasoning which are imperative in solving legal cases. Strong AI can understand ‘problem domain’. The current weak AI tools used in legal firm lack However, AI tools can be a boon for lawyers in many ways.

With the ever-growing data and ever-increasing need for speed response to the client and the court, it almost becomes a burdensome task for the lawyers. The humongous amount of data given to the lawyers consists of many important details especially for the legal purpose which again takes great amount of time to study. In such situations, AI comes as a savior. Various lawyer-bots like Aliria, Luminance and others are programmed in a way to understand legal documents in any language, find anomalies and provide relevant data and information from the vast database available. Incorporation of AI has led to hike in revenue by 38%, shows a study conducted by Accenture. Improvement in the client-attorney relation can also be expected as most of R&D job is taken up by the AI machinery, giving the attorneys more time to explain their legal strategies to their clients.

On the contrary, there are some concerns regarding breach of privacy. The lawyer-bots will have access to a vast database containing sensitive data. Hackers can easily hack these bots and gain access to these data which can be used against the client itself. The most hyped one being unemployment for lawyers. Co-founder of ROSS, Andrew Arruda stated that the primary motive behind invention of ROSS is to enhance the job of attorneys and not to replace them.


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