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Artificial Intelligence – Is the future of the legal industry here to stay?



Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already started to transform many industries and sectors, and the legal industry is no exception. An influx in the development and use of AI is rapidly changing the way legal services are provided and is creating new opportunities for businesses and law firms to increase efficiency, reduce costs and deliver better services to their clients. However, it is also important to consider the limitations of AI on the legal industry and whether there are arguments for the use of this advanced technology to be subject to tighter regulation. In this article we will be assessing the benefits and the potential limitations of the use of AI within the legal sector.

Benefits of AI1. Cost Reduction – The use of AI can significantly reduce the time and cost expense of legal services. AI tools can automate many repetitive and administrative tasks, as well as quickly reviewing and analysing legal contracts, saving lawyers time to focus on more complex legal matters and clients’ money.

2. Increased efficiency – AI performs tasks and produce results much quicker than humans, which can dramatically improve efficiency of the legal services. AI research tools can be used to gather information at a faster rate, which allows the lawyers to produce better and quicker results in turn for their clients without carrying out tasks which are outdated and inefficient.

3. Enhanced decision-making – AI can provide lawyers with data-driven insights that can inform their decision making. Both from a commercial and a transactional perspective. AI tools can be used for their predictive analytics which can provide lawyers’ with insights to inform their decision making on time and cost for a particular task. This enables the lawyer to have a better understanding of timings and is able to provide their client with more accurate information and realistic deadlines.

Limitations of AI1. Lack of context – For all of its benefits, it is worth remembering that AI lacks the context and years of experience that comes with commercially astute legal teams. Its tools and functions cannot replace years of experience of commercial and financial transactions and as such its results may lack relevant context or may not be applicable in each scenario for a particular client. It remains the role of the lawyer to advise their client and think commercially based on the information which is provided by the AI tools.

2. Limited creativity – In addition, the output produced by AI can only ever be as useful and as successful as the input it is fed by the human source. If the input is lacking in explicit detail or the instructions are unclear, AI may struggle with creative problem solving. Whilst AI can analyse data and identify certain patterns, it cannot produce creative solutions to legal problems or think commercially.

3. Ethical concerns – The use of AI in the legal industry can raise ethical concerns. For example, there are concerns around bias AI algorithms which could result is inaccuracy or misinformation. There are also concerns around the potential loss of jobs within the legal industry as AI technology becomes more prevalent in automating the tasks and duties ordinarily carried out by administrative functions.

In conclusion, the use of AI in the legal industry can provide significant benefits including reduction of cost and time, allowing lawyer’s to spend more time with their clients and undertake the more complex legal issues. Though as AI continues to embed itself within the working practices of many law firms, caution should be exercised over the reliance placed upon its data output. As AI continues to develop it is likely that we will see more widespread integration of AI in the legal industry but for now it is important to understand that these tools cannot replicate the role of a lawyer and you should continue to seek professional legal advice for your business.

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This article is not intended to be interpreted as advice.

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