Joanna Goodman's latest Law Society Gazette column tackles artificial intelligence - reviewing a recent conference on the topic, held at The Law Society.
Legal AI has already developed to the point where 'robots' can automate processes, review documents, analyse financials and even predict the outcomes of litigation. However, development of these technologies has not all been plain sailing and throws up challenges as well providing solutions.
As technology provided services become commonplace, questions will be asked over liability: who is responsible when technology makes a mistake which affects a legal process? Or even, at what point could failure to use the more accurate processes offered by technology be considered negligence?
'Lawyers have expectations that AI is magic fairy dust you can sprinkle onto work. It isn’t,' Halliwell cautioned. He said Pinsent Masons is bringing together contract and document automation into a '3-D map' which outlines how processes fit together, with tools and technologies deployed where they are needed. 'The technology doesn’t work without people applying their knowledge to it,' he said, highlighting the importance of knowledge engineering to the firm’s core operations. Uses for AI in law include process automation, document review – reviewing large volumes of similar documents to identify where a change in the law applies - as well as financial analytics and predicting litigation outcomes.