What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence in machines which are programmed to think and work like humans. Machines are being built and programmed to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. These have been implemented into many sectors within the working world such as banking, financial services, real estate etc. One industry that has not implemented this use of technology is the legal sector.
Uses of AI in law
AI can be programmed and taught to do many tasks that are currently performed by lawyers. The implementation of AI within the legal field has tremendous possibilities in the legal field. The tasks that AI could be used for vary from basic tasks to complex ones beyond human capabilities these are:
- Due diligence reviews: This task would typically involve lawyers sifting through documents analysing them looking for issues, clauses and just anything relevant. This could take many hours or days to complete. AI has the ability to do this exact task. This process can now be fully automated with the use of AI.
- Prepare contracts: There are AI tools that have been created to form and prepare contracts. The AI can create contracts using whatever framework the legal department feels important. Also, clients could use the tool as a self-service. This would be done where they can input certain variables and the system will produce a ready to use contract.
- Contract management: Typically contract management is done manually. Someone tracks the termination date, provisions such as renewal dates, price rises etc. AI has been developed so that key information on these contracts can be interpreted and applied by computers. Meaning that from the drafting of the contract to its implementation and enforcement can be done automatically by AI.
- Litigation analysis: There has been slight widespread development in this area through the use of databases such as westlaw and LexisNexis. However, the sophistication of these can be greatly improved. AI could search all the data available and use this as precedent to a current case, thus allowing it to predict the outcome of a case by comparing the facts to a past case.
- Legal research: AI will allow law firms to ask legal questions and get a straight answer back in normal language. This answer would include case law, secondary sources etc. Therefore, the laborious task of legal research would be done quicker, with more depth, breadth and accuracy. Allowing lawyers to think and provide the best legal judgement, rather than just spending time researching.
The use of AI in law to perform such tasks would create a more profitable business due to less time being spent on unnecessary tasks. Also, the use of AI would lead to more accurate and would lead to a higher quality of work being produced and done so in a speedier manner. The use of AI would also mean that saved time would mean that lawyers would have more time to focus on higher-level work which cannot be done by a computer.
Hurdles of the Implementation of AI
Although AI can make life so much easier for many, studies have revealed that AI can embed bias in programmed systems. A study conducted by the University of Colorado tested if online case databases would return the same relevant case results. The engineers that designed the algorithms for these search engines all have a bias due to the input given to them when being programmed. This raises the question to the reliability and validity of the creation and implementation of AI into the legal sector.
The issue of privacy would also be raised with the use of AI within the sector of law. This means that the design and implementation of such AI is extremely important as they have to be made in a way that they are safe and secure. AI will have to be designed so they follow all current legislation on things such as confidentiality, fair treatment and anonymity etc. As well as this they need to be designed with sufficient security built in so they are not vulnerable to cyber attacks especially when dealing with the legal sector as large amounts of personal data is collected and stored. There would be great implications of the leak of such personal details. In 2017 Equifax lost the personal and financial info of 150 million people and in July 2019 the credit agency agreed to pay $575 million which could potentially rise to $700 million.
The impact upon intellectual property rights will have to be amended for the implementation of AI within the legal sector. This is because the current definitions of innovation and creativity do not include that of non-human innovation. In music AI and is already being used which along with the implementation in other industries are going to transform the idea and legal definitions of ‘authors’ ‘artists’ and the use of copyrights and trademarks. Therefore, in the not-so-distant future there is going to have to be a huge overhaul on the law of intellectual property to facilitate the use of AI.
The use of AI also brings into question the accountability of the robot. If say it makes a decision that causes a case to be lost or results in a financial loss who is at fault? Is it the company who is legally responsible for damages that are caused? The same question is raised in automated cars which are self-driving. This will mean that new legislation will have to be drafted and implemented in this area. Many would argue that it will have to address programming errors which causes the machines to make poor decisions etc.
The future of AI
There are huge upside potentials of the use of AI within the legal sector but there are also risks involved with their use. A lot of work around the law would also have to be updated to accommodate for their use. However, their use needs to be carefully implemented as if done incorrectly could have extreme consequences.
There is no doubt that in the coming years the use of AI will become more prominent due to the constant evolution of technology. The legal sector will no doubt take this on board but there are many preliminary steps which need to be taken before this will happen to ensure its implementation is as safe and efficient as possible.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Law Advice
Monarch Solicitors specialist artificial intelligence solicitors provide a tailor-made approach to your needs and can help with a range of AI legal issues. Please get in touch with us by either calling 0330 127 8888 or emailing [email protected] for an initial consultation.