Artificial Intelligence and Law Defined
Artificial Intelligence is when a computer system, machine or software exhibits intelligence. In other words, it perceives its environment and can take the steps necessary to achieve certain goals. Examples of this include computers or software that can problem-solve, recognize speech, learn and plan.
Once a visionary theory, artificial intelligence is now a reality of everyday life. People use and rely on machines and software applications that can think often without even realizing it. An example of this would be a smartphone application that navigates you to the quickest routes through current traffic. If you stop and reflect, this is really an amazing development.
As with many areas of life, artificial intelligence has found its way into the practice of law. It is the technology that helps to organize, store, retrieve and distribute information. The legal field has historically and famously involved a lot of paper and document creation and analysis.
With artificial intelligence and law coming together, it saves people and legal organizations (including law offices, law schools, and courts) an incredible amount of time and resources.
The Current Landscape of Artificial Intelligence and Law
Just as artificial intelligence is finding its way into our daily lives, it is starting to spread throughout the legal profession and practice as well. Most public court systems have moved or are moving towards exclusively electronic filing systems. In these cases, parties are required to file their legal paperwork over the internet in electronic formats.
The laws, codes, and statutes that regulate the practice of law now include issues such as electronic service of other parties of paperwork and how to store and produce electronically stored files.
The arrival of artificial intelligence in the field of law has boosted efficiency and precision. What may have taken many humans days or weeks (or more) to organize and analyze thousands of pages of documents can now be streamlined by the appropriate use of legal software. Therefore, you can save your organization time and your clients’ money by reducing the possibility of human error and producing more accurate results.
Legal Tasks Streamlined by Artificial Intelligence Include:
- Legal research
- Due diligence
- Document organization and management
- Document analysis
- Legal outcome analysis and prediction
- Legal drafting and writing
Issues to Consider in Using AI in the Practice of Law
Just as the presence of AI in everyday life creates complications, there are issues to consider in thinking about using artificial intelligence in the practice of law.
The attorney-client relationship is one that relies upon confidentiality. In essence, a client must feel safe to tell his attorney the truth and all the details surrounding his case. The only way to be sure a client will feel protected is that the information he provides to his attorney is protected.
Lawyers often hold onto highly sensitive information regarding their clients. This includes financial information, medical information, and intimate details of their personal lives. In using artificial intelligence in the law, it is important to maintain the integrity of its confidentiality and ensure sensitive information is protected from outsiders’ view.
Finally, be sure that any AI technology you are using in the practice of law is protecting your client’s confidential information.
2. Due diligence and competence
Clients trust their attorneys to help them make important decisions that can greatly impact their lives. Therefore, attorneys have a high duty to perform due diligence and act competently on behalf of their clients. Failing to do so has ethical implications and may result in attorney discipline or even disbarment.
In many ways, artificial intelligence systems are more precise and effective than the human brain. Sometimes, however, they simply cannot compute critical details and can produce errors. It is a delicate situation. The best way to help combat the potential in AI error to your clients’ case is to be sure you are properly trained and educated on the AI technology you are using.
3. Supervising Your AI Technology
Just as senior attorneys are required to review the work of paralegals and less experienced attorneys, an attorney relying on artificial intelligence to perform legal work must be sure to properly review the work performed by the AI program. This can help to eliminate errors that put you at risk, as discussed in #2 above.
Moving Forward with Artificial Intelligence and Law
As seen, artificial intelligence has a place in the legal, professional, education and court systems. It has helped to make things run more efficiently and accurately. However, due to the sensitive nature of the legal profession and the rigorous professional standards lawyers are held to, it is important to understand any AI technology you are using.
Also, be sure your AI software and systems have appropriate protections in place to store sensitive information. Even still, always be sure to review any output an AI system has made on your cases. This will help artificial intelligence and law partner to create the best outcomes for people and the world at large.
At TALG, we’re proud to be cutting-edge when it comes to using AI to our clients’ advantage. We use AI software that’s proprietary. This means that it assists us in a predictable analysis in litigation to help protect against some of the potential challenges of applying artificial intelligence to the law.
We also use AI to assist us in analyzing different issues related to regulatory compliance, and for the development of that product. This provides the product with the highest success rate. This is most useful when presented to any state or federal government agency.
Moreover, we use AI to be efficient and proactive, making sure to get the best results for our clients.