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Artificial Intelligence and Legal Profession: is AI the new Legal Revolution?

by Sharisha Sapkota

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

Artificial Intelligence has reformed technology prospects extensively over the last few decades. It has proven to have better efficiency, consistency and resourcefulness than human labour in almost every area of work, study and research including law and the legal profession.

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processed by computer systems through the process of machine learning.[1] AI can be categorised as Weak AI and Strong AI.

Weak AI or Narrow AI refers to the use of advanced algorithms to accomplish specific problem solving or reasoning tasks that do not encompass the full range of human cognitive abilities.[2] Here, the actions are pre-programmed by the developer. This type of AI is typically used in the legal profession. This has aided legal works such as litigation, dispute resolution, regulation and compliance, document review, legal research etc. to lawyers and law firms across the globe.

Strong AI on the other hand refers to machines or programs with the mind of their own and which can think and accomplish complex tasks on their own without any human interference.[3] Self-driving cars, Disease mapping etc. are strong AIs.

Legal personality of Artificial Intelligence:

The legal personhood of artificial intelligence has been challenged for lacking critical human qualities like consciousness, responsibility, judgement capacity, desires, creativity etc.[4] and also because “simulation of a thing is not the thing itself”[5]. However, several attempts have been made over the years to determine the legal status of AI. The European Union considers legal personality of AI in civil law[6] but gives off an ambiguous position for autonomous machines stating moral, ethical and societal challenges upon the attribution of responsibility and rights of a person into such machines.[7] John Chipman Gray’s concept of a person based on dogmatic fiction talks on the fulfilment of two criteria i.e. the capacity of AI to comprehend legal consequences of its action and enjoy a bundle of rights can assist in attributing legal personhood to AIs[8]. However, in the practical aspects of daily livelihood, cases involving the military, cases of any damage or loss, the absence of concrete positive law upon its legal subjectivity gives off the observation of an oxymoron upon ascribing accountability to the AI or the human controller of it.

LEGAL WORKS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The legal market is one of the largest markets in the world but profoundly under-digitised as well.[9] Richard Susskind opines, “AI and other technologies are enabling machines to take on many of the tasks that many used to think required human lawyers and that’s not plateauing. It seems to be happening at quite a rate.”[10] AI has proven to assist legal professionals to perform various tasks, ranging from research to analysis and litigation through machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP).

Legal research:

AI-powered legal research platforms can help lawyers do more billable work more quickly, allowing them to spend more time putting research to good use by counselling clients, negotiating with opposing counsel or performing other higher-level work.[11] AI legal research tools use Natural Language Processing which forms a predictive model based on attorneys past queries and search instructions.[12] Although there are several search engines to fetch information on the internet, their reliability can often be questioned. These tools use semantic research and help lawyers find case law and recommended readings to support any text found on their document. Therefore, AI legal research saves time from unproductive searches and makes work accurate and precise.

 

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

References