Artificial intelligence or AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes through machines, especially computer systems. AI systems receive information in the form of input along with the rules of using that input; it then includes reasoning using the given rules to reach the required conclusion. The two main classifications of AI are weak and strong, weak for a particular task and strong to perform all generalized tasks like a human being and find a solution without any human intervention. AI is a result of technological advancement and has made human work effortless in a lot of fields. Earlier, AI explored topics like problem solving and symbolic methods, but now an AI system can be used to accomplish many tasks and can even act as a personal assistant.
Use of AI and Analytics by Law Firms
Law firms are required to process a lot of data and go through different documents which can often be overwhelming for humans. If the process can be automated, it will save a lot of time. In the present technological era, AI and analytics have come into picture which has simplified the legal profession. While the legal industry isn’t the first to embrace AI, it has a lot of potentials to benefit from this technology. Law firms that have started using this powerful technology are working more productively in comparison to others and spending less time on monotonous everyday tasks.
Law has been considered a profession resistant to change, but lawyers are now ready to accept change and embrace new forms of working. AI simulates certain cognitive processes of the human mind which enables the system to complete the required task. When applied to algorithms, AI allows computers to interpret the given data, recognize similar patterns which are frequently and accordingly form conclusions. Law firms that have changed traditional methods of working and adopted the modern ways of working have already attained a competitive edge over others. Some benefits of using AI and analytics:
- Legal research and due diligence– AI can be used to scan a million pages of the law in seconds and to find the relevant matter required for a particular case. A lawyer usually has to scan all the documents when it comes to legal research, but AI with proper coding can be used for legal research which can save the lawyers from tedious research and clients will also have to spend less as AI will do most of the paperwork and speed up the overall process.
- Review documents and contracts– AI can review documents and flag them as relevant to a case. Once a certain type of document is found to be relevant, the algorithms used in AI can get to work to find other documents that are similarly relevant. The algorithms will easily search for cases with the same material facts and related law. This takes a lot of burden off lawyers. AI can reach conclusions faster than humans and with fewer mistakes that are often overlooked by the human eye. This will also increase consistency in contract creation so that errors are removed at the first instance.
- Predict legal outcomes– AI has the ability to store all the legal data in a way that it can filter through it all to tell lawyers their chances of winning relevant cases after going through similar cases decided over the years. This helps the lawyer in devising an effective litigation strategy. Lawyers using AI tend to spend less time on monotonous everyday tasks, which empowers them to spend more time on analyzing, negotiations, and other aspects of a case.
Future of AI in Law Firms
Lawyers will start capitalizing on AI on a large scale within years. All the law firms will be automated and will adapt to the new technology. In order to compete with other law firms and offer better services to its clients, the need for using AI will be felt more in the future by all types of law firms. AI has already made so much progress in the west that a law firm in the US has employed world’s first artificial intelligence lawyer, which will use the robot to assist its various teams in legal research.
The robot is called ‘ROSS’ and is built upon Watson, IBM’s cognitive computer. Lawyers can ask the robot their research questions, and it then goes through relevant law, looks at the evidence and then reaches a meaningful conclusion with the support of Watson’s cognitive computing and natural language processing capabilities. Such progress in AI clearly shows that personal assistants will reduce the burden on a lawyer and will help them enhance their abilities.
AI has brought a lot of changes in the legal industry. Some lawyers are still sceptical about the relevance of results produced by AI and concerned about the protection of data from hackers, but once they are used to it, all doubts will be removed. AI can put a lot of lawyers out of business is also a big concern, but the legal system is much more than just some straightforward coding. AI is yet to become common in India, but in the near future, all law firms will be seen using it because of the immense benefits it can provide.