Technology is gaining widespread use in the legal industry. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robots are replacing humans in many repetitive and routine tasks leaving creativity to human power. The vision is that one day AI will be as smart as humans and even today AI outperforms lawyers in many different tasks.
A legal tech startup, LawGeex, tested the skills and knowledge of 20 experienced lawyers against AI-powered algorithm in a recent study.
The lawyers had to review risks in five NDAs. The top-performing lawyer had an accuracy of 94%. This is exactly what the AI achieved. Together all lawyers achieved an average of 85% which means that AI outperformed them by 9%. But the AI could complete the task at a higher speed. The lawyers managed to review the documents in 92 minutes whereas it took only 26 seconds to the AI.
23% of Legal Work Can be Automated
What does this mean for the legal industry? Estimates suggest that 23% of legal work can be automated. Even finding a court appearance attorney is today automated although a lot of tasks that require human creativity are beyond the capabilities of algorithms.
“Some people in the deep learning camp are very disparaging of trying to directly engineer something like common sense in an AI,” says Ford. “They think it’s a silly idea. One of them said it was like trying to stick bits of information directly into a brain.”
Despite such pessimism, AI is gaining momentum in many different industries. More and more tasks are assigned to machines in industries like finance, design, and medicine. Today AI ”doctor” can diagnose patients and it won’t be something unexpected if AI ”lawyer” interrogates a witness.
Of course, this will have implications for the job market. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2018 predicts that although machines will take over tasks from humans, new roles will replace job losses. This assumes new educational platforms and skill development needs that the future will require from the job market.
In any way, 2018 forecasts suggest that the global business value derived from AI will be $1.2 trillion which will reach up to $3.9 trillion in 2022, according to Gartner. We are witnessing a vivid trend towards AI and automation, and the legal industry will not stay untouched by these trends.