Artificial intelligence in law: is the industry ready?

Artificial intelligence: boon or bane? Which side of the debate should law firms take?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most anticipated and fast-developing technological advancements in recent years, with its promise to automate, streamline and simplify otherwise cumbersome processes.

AI simulates human intelligence and decision-making by allowing computers to look for patterns in data, evaluate them, and find results based on these. In the workplace, it has significantly changed the way industries carry out their processes as AI systems have started to do work that humans used to do before, delivering results more accurately, and faster.

The legal profession, traditionally slow to adapt to new technologies, is starting to acknowledge the disruptive potential of AI, and according to Law In Order, everyone involved is now taking sides in the debate.

For some, AI will be the catalyst that will bring about the end of human presence in most professions, even law. This camp believes that AI will start to replace humans in certain tasks, then this will escalate to the point that the AI system’s efficiency and scope can essentially do everything humans can do, thus replacing them in the industry. 

There are those, however, that believe in the potential of AI, not as a replacement for human legal practitioners, but as a complement and a helping hand for the heavy workload that lawyers, prosecutors, and judges must accomplish. AI systems can carry over the task of researching, compiling, and transcribing documents for lawyers, while the professionals themselves can focus on one of the most pivotal aspects of their practice: the human aspect, which AI systems cannot replicate.

In this possibility, lawyers will still play key roles in the profession, since they will oversee and develop the AI system until such time that the system is already capable of standing on itself and process the kind of work that the legal profession needs them to process at any given time. Simultaneously, they will still deliver legal services through the traditional platforms and carry out legal proceedings.

Still, it is up to law firms to decide upon and take sides based on how they foresee the future of the profession with the AI’s impact. To learn more about how AI will impact the industry when it has been implemented, check out this infographic courtesy of Law In Order.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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