A.I. & the legal profession – should we be afraid?

Posted on August 15th, 2017

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There has been significant advances in the development of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in recent times and a big deal made about A.I.’s impact on peoples’ jobs into the future.

So, should the legal profession be afraid? Are we going to be replaced by A.I. and our jobs become obsolete?

The short answer is no. In my humble opinion, if you subscribe to the above line of questioning, you are asking the wrong questions entirely.

The real questions you should be asking is “How do I utilise A.I. to my advantage? How can I use A.I. to be more efficient and how can A.I. perform tasks for me that I no longer need to do/want to do?”

The introduction of A.I. is just another technological advancement within the workforce, much like the replacement of typewriters with computers – albeit on an exponential scale.

The Legal Profession already has advanced practice management systems that can auto generate letters and documents at predetermined stages in matters as well as systems that can review large quantities of documents for specified terms. A.I. is an extension of these types of systems that removes the need for a human decision to be made. If the systems are as effective as they are supposed to be, these systems will drastically reduce the medial and mundane tasks we need to perform on a daily basis.

Whilst I am certainly no tech guru or profess to be an expert in the area, I consider that there will still always be a role for the human lawyer to play in legal matters. Whether it be explaining the legal concepts to clients or taking instructions and deducing the actual legal issues.

We should be focusing our attention on preparing ourselves for A.I. and to position our systems to utilise it best when it arrives. If you don’t, you can be assured that your competitor will.  With millennials to make up 75% of the global workforce within the next 8 years (Deloitte Millennials Survey Report 2014) surely as a profession we are positioned to accept the looming AI challenge.

A.I. is coming – like it or not. We need to embrace it, rather than resist it.

Lachlan Page, Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors, NewcastleLachlan Page is a Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors and practices extensively in commercial, business and property transactions and adviceIf you require any assistance in this area please contact Lachlan Page to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle office.

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