Will Lawyers Be Made Obsolete by Artificial Intelligence? | Hacker Noon

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Daglar Cizmeci Hacker Noon profile picture

@daglar-cizmeciDaglar Cizmeci

Investor, Founder & CEO. MIT graduate. Co-Founder of Mesmerise VR, Marsfields, ARQ and Repeat.

It was inevitable, and in the back of our minds, we knew there were some jobs robots would come and take over as technology advanced at lightning speed over the years. But there are others we never even considered, that is until now. For some time now, most professionals have been worried about how new technology will implicate and impact their professional working lives, putting jobs on the line and livelihoods.

We have seen the adoption of robots replace humans in factories at scale and streamline work, making processes more efficient, removing humans and human error altogether. For example, Amazon’s warehouses today have over 200,000 robots, all working in unison with one another. However, less manual laboured jobs seemed untouchable thanks to their complexity, that is, of course, until now, thanks to technologies like Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality.

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(Image Source: Bloomberg Law)

Like many other professions, lawyers are beginning to fear the possibility of automation thanks to AI, leading to considerable job losses in the sector. Technological advancements have rendered jobs, and in some cases, it has made humans obsolete. But before we consider how it could potentially replace lawyers, let’s understand what AI is and how it works.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence combines robust datasets with computer science, enabling the computer to problem-solve independently. AI also encompasses machine learning and deep learning, which comes together to form the basis of AI-enabled technology, giving AI algorithms the ability to create predictions and classifications based on the input of the dataset it receives. 

The computer science of AI is concentrated on building intelligent computers that have the ability to carry out human-like functions and thinking. However, advancements in the field of computer science are creating a paradigm shift in almost every sector and industry, which is making many nervous.

Can AI replace lawyers?

Currently, it is safe to say AI does not yet have the full power and capabilities to replace lawyers. However, we might not be very far from this type of technology, making the future less secure and predictable. Practising law requires, at its most basic level, a number of complex and confidential interactions between humans which AI can not yet mimic. However, there are a few things that AI can do better than law professionals. 

A study was conducted to see how lawyers performed against AI in annotating five standard disclosures agreements. The results found lawyers achieved an accuracy rate of 85%, but the AI systems by LAWGeex AI achieved an accuracy rate of 94%. 

Although there is no startling difference between the figures, the value of AI lies in the difference between the speed at which the task was completed. The lawyers took a total of 92 minutes to complete the task, whereas the AI machine took 26 seconds. With a considerable time difference and more accuracy, there is no denying that AI wins this contest. One of the great things about implementing AI in the legal field is that lawyers can use this type of technology to their advantage, allowing them to concentrate on other aspects of their jobs, providing them with free time and more opportunities to save money as a sector

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(Image Source: Statista)

Lawyers can also use AI to their advantage when taking into consideration expert witnesses while conducting cross-examinations. Rather than spending mass amounts of time trolling through paperwork and files to find available information on expert witnesses, lawyers can use AI to gather all the cases where the witness has testified while pulling up all the expert opinions in all the cases. 

It can also give lawyers accurate and fast access, identifying how the jury reacted to their witness and how their testimonies affected the outcome of the overall case. Therefore, lawyers can use this information presented to them by AI during trials, providing them with better insights.

AI can also aid in picking a jury for a case. In some cases, lawyers may overlook some facts and cues present in the jury that could sway or influence the judicial process and the overall outcome of the jury’s decision-making process. 

For example, suppose the case is concerning a drunk driving motor accident. To ensure fairness, it may be best to select jurors who have no previous histories that align with the case to offer impartial and complete fairness. AI systems will be able to pinpoint quickly and pertinent this kind of information about jurors, eliminating them from trials that match their own previous convictions. Thanks to AI, obtaining a list of qualified jurors with no connection to the case can be provided in a matter of seconds. 

Lastly, AI may have the ability to effectively conduct client interviews thanks to the direction consumers and technology has gone in. We are now, more than ever, more used to talking to an artificial voice than an actual human, which means intelligent machines can take client interviews. 

Is AI the future of Law?

Considering the speed and accuracy of AI systems and the vast amounts of data it can process, it would be a significant disadvantage to the legal system not to adopt its use in everyday practice today. AI and law can work together and offer tremendous results for legal professionals, but will it be able to replace lawyers fully? The answer to this question is still yet to be seen. 

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