Can AI replace a man?
In a time when many industries are facing the threat of mass unemployment induced by the technological advances being made on a daily basis, how sheltered will legal the legal profession be from this technological fallout? Even the most avid supporters of Artificial Intelligence Systems will succede that the technology is not likely to replace the role of lawyers in the near future. However, the work that is currently carried out by junior lawyers may be more at risk according to a report released by The Boston Consulting Group. The report claims that up to 50% of the work that junior lawyers are tasked with is capable of being performed by artificially intelligent programs.
The focus of this blog post however, is not looking to see how we can recompense for our apparently, increasingly disposable junior lawyers but rather to identify why our clients would want legal services supported by a range of artificially intelligent tools? Also, how will this change future relationships between legal service providers and their clients? And how must firms look to go about creating a service which incorporates the optimal amount of both human and machine capabilities?
Before I discuss how the advent of artificial intelligence is likely to recast the dynamics of the legal sector, I believe establishing an understanding of what constitutes artificially intelligent systems is key. To begin with, it is apparent that these types of technology can be implemented in one of two ways, either they can be introduced to enhance a human’s ability to carry out a given challenge more efficiently, or they can be used to replace humans altogether in certain tasks. It is important to acknowledge that artificial intelligence which is on par intellectually with humans or “true A.I.” remains a work in progress, but it is increasingly becoming less of an unrealistic target.