Artificial Intelligence Today
Can computers think?
This is the question that began the AI movement.
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. Today, AI refers to programs in a computer system or any type of machine that stands in for human intelligence. AI is typically designed to evaluate its environment and take the action necessary according to that environment to achieve certain goals. It can involve software systems, computers, machines, and robotics that can problem-solve, recognize speech, learn and plan.
Once simply a theory, modern examples of AI include the iPhone’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and flying drones. This complex and ever-changing world of AI opens the door for cutting-edge law.
Artificial Intelligence Lawyers
Artificial intelligence lawyers focus on clients who have novel inventions and ideas, particularly, unregulated invention ideas.
One of the things an artificial intelligence lawyer does is find out if there are any regulatory issues that might be relevant in order to assist their clients in creating appropriate regulatory schemes. These schemes help businesses avoid fines or other unwanted legal punishments.
An artificial intelligence lawyer also assists in facilitating a discussion of the proper regulations for what a client does. A good artificial intelligence lawyer should also analyze the technical issues related to a client’s particular field and market.
On the Cutting Edge of Law and Technology
We live in an exciting and unique time in that becoming an AI lawyer is even a possibility. With the development of AI and its assimilation in our daily lives, becoming an Artificial Intelligence lawyer is an exciting opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology and law.
A common misconception of artificial intelligence lawyers is that they are software engineers. Another is that they have a technical discipline outside of legal training experience.
However, the most important thing for an artificial intelligence lawyer to have is the ability to think outside of the box. This is because you are dealing with products, inventions, and ideas that have never been tested, legalized or regulated.
A Day in the Life of an Artificial Intelligence Lawyer
It is important to be familiar with your client’s market and how to adhere to any existing regulations. You will also need a keen understanding of your client’s goals. You will need to align these things to best benefit your client and the world at large.
Contract Review and Management
As an artificial intelligence lawyer, one of your tasks involves drafting, reviewing and amending contracts. You will also look for risks and issues with how contracts are written that could expose clients to risky situations.
An artificial intelligence lawyer will offer a legal opinion to his or her clients so the clients can make sound decisions regarding the contracts at issue. Under the lawyer’s guidance, clients can decide whether to sign or opt-out of a contract or to negotiate better terms.
Analyze Documents and Legal Research
Analyzing documents is a part of most lawyers’ day, including an artificial intelligence lawyer, as is conducting legal research.
Even though the field of AI law is novel and constantly evolving, artificial intelligence lawyers must be well versed in any applicable laws. This includes case law or regulations that exist for their clients’ industry, products or services.
Understanding Software Service Agreements
An artificial intelligence lawyer should be proficient in understanding how software service agreements work, particularly how Service as a Software (SaaS) operates, because this is becoming the standard of software hosting.
SaaS services, which are often referred to as in the “cloud,” are subscription-based programs that businesses pay to use.
Also, the software is hosted by a third-party and is made available through the internet. Many companies prefer this method to a one-time software purchase that must be hosted on a particular computer desktop or another machine.
Litigating in the Courts
An artificial intelligence lawyer works to maximize a client’s benefit and minimize a client’s risk. However, we live in a litigious culture where lawsuits, unfortunately, are a reality. So an artificial intelligence lawyer must be comfortable with the courts and litigation process so he or she can help navigate clients through this world.
What it Takes to Become an Artificial Intelligence Lawyer
A great artificial intelligence lawyer is going to have a strong intellectual property background. In addition to going to a solid law school for the appropriate legal education and training, any lawyer must meet the licensing requirements of the state in which he or she intends to practice. These requirements differ from state-to-state, but always include passing a rigorous bar exam.
It is also helpful to have training that is either specific to artificial intelligence or otherwise can assist you in analyzing AI issues. For instance, you may have an undergraduate background in computer science or technology or engineering. Or you may obtain a special certificate from a technologically-focused school.
By way of example, I earned my law degree at the Pepperdine University School of Law. I am also certified by the Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology Law, which is now known as the Palmer Center. This helped me to gain additional background and knowledge I can apply each day to the exciting and complex world of artificial intelligence law.