AI and the Legal Industry
Lori Beattie, Senior Legal Search Consultant
It is almost impossible recently to avoid seeing or hearing about AI and the disruption it is inevitably going to cause. While fears that every level of society eventually faces disruption and the evocation by the term of images of a dystopian future are largely hype and clickbait, the reality, for lawyers at least, is that AI is indeed bringing about substantial change in the industry.
At the recent LegalTech Summit conference in Sydney, AI was a topic ripe for discussion. At various points throughout the day, lawyers and technologists in the room touched on questions around whether an AI interface could be a viable replacement in initial client contact, where the use of AI technologies in the performance legal functions is heading in the future and what limitations AI has in the practice of law.

Already, the value of AI can be seen in the management of laborious, high volume, repetitive tasks. For example, JP Morgan invested in the development of in-house technology tool COIN (short for Contract Intelligence) which is able to extract 150 attributes from 12,000 commercial credit agreements in a matter of seconds, saving an estimated 36,000 lawyer hours. The technology is also said to be more accurate and was created after the bank became aware of an average of 12,000 contracts with blatant errors each year.

Similarly, AI has proven to add significant value in the areas of document review and eDiscovery (particularly through the use of predictive coding or technology-assisted review); contract due diligence; as well as legal research and analysis of case law and judicial decision-making. In these areas, the technology is not performing legal work for the lawyer but instead is providing analysis and identifying anomalies which in turn reduces the amount of analysis time spent by the lawyer. Outside of the legal profession, this has proven to be a successful pattern. In medicine, an early use of AI identified unusual patterns on pathology slides. Instead of having to review all the slides, doctors had only to examine suspicious slides which led to a drastic reduction in workload. Not only may the combined human-machine approach deliver the best results, it may also help in alleviating one of the biggest challenges AI faces in its adoption in the legal industry – that of building trust in its reliability.

To find out more about how AI can be harnessed in the legal industry, join us in November for an interactive panel discussion with leading experts from Gilbert + Tobin, Minter Ellison, KL Discovery and Maddocks. Please click here to reserve – spaces are limited.

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– Coleman Hawkins
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