Despite robotics and artificial intelligence being labelled as threats to the profession, the head of digital legal services for a global firm has downplayed concerns. Speaking ahead of the Lawtech Summit, Tae Royle, head of digital legal services for Ashurst, said reports about the robot lawyer takeover have escalated unnecessarily. "The doom and gloom scenarios are a bit overcooked; the majority of the workforce will adapt rapidly and are getting on the front foot," he said. Mr Royle added that these fears are unsubstantiated at present, as the application of AI remains "very narrow". However, Mr Royle also said that opportunities for AI are "progressively widening, and in five years' time the use cases will be broader and the impacts will be very deep", though he noted there is no need for firms to panic over this, and instead they should properly prepare.
How artificial intelligence is transforming the legal profession The future of the legal profession began 20 years ago. The technology boom was just beginning with the emergence of email and personal computers. Jay Leib was working for Record Technologies Inc. as director of software sales and training in 1999, and the company was scanning documents into databases for clients. At one point the company printed and scanned legal documents related to a lawsuit with Microsoft. Leib thought that was inefficient, a waste of time and paper. So he and his business partner, Dan Roth, decided to create a program that would help lawyers manage electronic documents for litigation. Their idea led them to purchase an e-discovery application. By 2000, Leib and his partner launched their own creation, Discovery Cracker. "We saw a gap in the marketplace," Leib says. Lawyers need tools to keep up with it." Instead of wading through piles of paper, lawyers now deal with terabytes of data and hundreds of thousands of documents. E-discovery, legal research and document review are more sophisticated due to the abundance of data. So while working as chief strategy officer at kCura in Chicago, Leib saw a need again in the market. "For years, lawyers have been stuck with antiquated tools that focus primarily … on Boolean search. Better tools are needed to truly understand data." "What is the future of the industry? We thought about it," he says. "There were whistleblowers in their companies who knew what was going on, and the unstructured data contained the stories. Companies could detect potential problems early on, provide alternatives to counsel and C-suite, and understand their exposure. It would prevent unnecessary legal spend and mitigate risk, thus protecting the company's brand and shareholder value." In 2013, he and Roth, a professor and head of the cognitive computing group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, created NexLP, a company using artificial intelligence to analyze data and identify trends. A REVOLUTION BEGINS Artificial intelligence is changing the way lawyers think, the way they do business and the way they interact with clients. Artificial intelligence is more than legal technology.
"Here they are, look, it's the people's champions," Nottingham Forest captain Stuart Pearce sneered as Oldham Athletic trooped out for a six-a-side exhibition game against Baltimore Blast during the'Soccer Sixes' at Manchester's G-Mex Arena in December 1990. Pearce's jibe may have stung a bit, but 30 years ago the Latics were an entertaining gang of players from the Second Division that rose up to bloody the noses of the elite. In 1989-90, under the management of former Everton forward Joe Royle, the boys from Boundary Park were going for a unique treble - promotion to the top flight, the FA Cup and League Cup - and despite coming close on all fronts, ended up with nothing. Royle and full-back Andy Barlow look back on a season of glorious heartbreak. Royle had done well since taking over in 1982, despite off-field financial issues threatening to derail their progress.
Both the progress and the hype around cutting-edge machine learning techniques were on vivid display at the December 2018 NeurIPS Conference in Montreal, Quebec, says Will Knight, MIT Technology Review's senior editor for artificial intelligence. One big question hanging over the meeting, he says, was how to detect and reverse the sexism, racism, and other forms of bias that seep into machine-learning algorithms that train themselves using real-world data. Participants also previewed the coming generation of chips designed specifically to support deep learning--a field where US manufacturers face growing competition from China. Separately, Will looks to the most exciting AI trends for 2019, including the generative adversarial networks (GANs) being used to generate authentic-looking photos and videos. This episode is sponsored by PwC, a global consulting firm in 158 countries with more than 250,000 people. PwC transforms business outcomes and results, helping companies use digital and emerging tech to reimagine their business, from strategy and operations to tax and finance. In the second half of the show, Scott Likens, PwC's New Services and Emerging Tech Leader, shares details from a new PwC study on the main trends in artificial intelligence that business leaders need to know about in 2019. Business Lab is hosted by Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, the CEO and publisher of MIT Technology Review. The show is produced by Wade Roush, with editorial help from Mindy Blodgett. Will Knight: "China has never had a real chip industry. Making AI chips could change that." PwC 2019 AI Predictions: Six AI priorities you can't afford to ignore Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau: From MIT Technology Review, I'm Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, and this is Business Lab, the show that helps business leaders make sense of new technologies coming out of the lab and into the marketplace.