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Artificial intelligence in the legal sector

Artificial Intelligence

The speed of Artificial Intelligence (IA) is just beginning to gain strength in terms of its use by lawyers and within the legal industry.


What is the impact of this technology on the legal profession?

In the next few years, we will find ourselves at the peak of a revolution in the practice of law led by the adoption of artificial intelligence - in particular, by in-house lawyers. Just as email changed the way we do business every day, AI will become ubiquitous - an indispensable assistant to virtually every lawyer. Those who do not adopt and accept change will be left behind. Those who do, ultimately, will be set free to do the two things that always seem to be too little time to think and advise.

Like many others, you may wonder about the AI products out there or on the road, and how you can use them.


What is Artificial Intelligence?

Before discussing the impact of IA on the legal profession, it is important to define it. The term artificial intelligence can be a little misleading, at least when it comes to its application in the legal field. No, we're not talking about some sort of walking robot with a briefcase and tie (although that would be pretty cool). Perhaps a better description, and one that is gaining importance, is cognitive computing. This means teaching computers to learn, reason, communicate and make decisions. Cognitive tools are trained vs. programmed - learning to complete the tasks traditionally performed by people, where the focus is on searching for patterns in the data, testing the data, and finding/providing results. Or, as I like to think about it, a research assistant who can scrutinize through the trash and tell you what he found.

Why is this important? Because, according to IBM, 2.5 quintillones of data bytes are generated daily. In case you're not up to date on a fifth part, it's 2,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. Every day. The ability of any human being to review and understand that level of data without help is the definition of impossible.



The recent explosion in AI is due to a fundamental rule of technology: the Moore's Law. In 1965, Gordon Moore, an Intel scientist, made a prediction based on his observation that the number of transistors per square inch in integrated circuits had doubled each year since his invention. Its law predicts that this trend will continue, and the growth of computing power will double approximately every two years, while the cost of that computing power will decrease. In short, more computers for less money. When combined with the decreasing cost of storing electronic data, you have the foundation for rapidly increasing AI capabilities and availability. In fact, experts predict that corporate IA spending will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to $47 billion in 2020, an increase of nearly 600%.


The reason for the huge increase in AI spending is simple: there are huge productivity gains and cost savings available by freeing humans from the routine tasks that computers can handle, allowing people to focus on the tasks that really add value, things that computers can't really do or do well. This reasoning of objectives fits particularly well with the legal industry. More importantly, legal departments will need to be prepared for this change and adapt quickly to the use of AI. For example, several M. B. B. programs. A. are introducing IA courses. Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the INSEAD Business School of France, along with other M. B. programs. A. of first line, have added courses on AI applications. As CEOs and CFOs become accustomed to using IA, they will expect other members of the C-Suite - including the legal advisor and legal department - to follow suit. The in-house attorneys who join AI will be more valuable to the next generation of CEOs and CFOs.


Application to the Legal Industry


There are a number of potential applications for the use of AI systems in the legal industry, especially with regard to automating repetitive and routine tasks to help lawyers provide superior legal advice at a higher level. Let's review a non-exhaustive list of these use cases.


Conduct of legal research

As most lawyers know, conducting a legal investigation can be a tedious, monotonous and time-consuming task. However, timely and thorough legal research on a particular issue - especially as the law continues to evolve - is vitally important, and is extremely necessary and important to lawyers as they serve their clients. IA systems can assist lawyers by conducting legal research on relevant jurisprudence and applicable statutes in a more rapid and comprehensive manner than lawyers can do for themselves. These AI systems can also be powerful enough to use the data to predict the outcome of litigation and allow lawyers to provide their clients with more powerful advice on dispute resolution issues.


Generation and review of legal documents

An AI system can serve as a virtual custodian for the collection of customer information and the preparation of legal documents and standard and routine agreements for the benefit of your customers. In addition, lawyers specializing in contract negotiation matters would welcome an AI system that could provide a quick and thorough contract comparison whenever there is a battle of forms between the contracting parties as to which standard contract clauses should be used. An additional welcome step would be for an AI system to suggest appropriate retrogressions or alternative contractual provisions from the deposit of negotiated contracts of a contracting party to help address a particular contractual issue.


Performing due diligence

All attorneys know that it is absolutely necessary to conduct a thorough due diligence review of the vast amount of data that is part of any merger, acquisition or other sophisticated corporate transaction. An IA system can provide an opportunity to conduct such due diligence in a faster, cheaper and more complete manner rather than relying on a team of high-cost, clear-eyed lawyers.


Promote a stronger compliance culture

A sophisticated AI system with the ability to actively identify and analyze data patterns related to internal business affairs and employee activities can be useful to an organization's compliance department. The use of such a system could help organizations to frustrate the types of harmful high-profile ethical and integrity issues that have unfortunately become commonplace in recent years.


Building a stronger cybersecurity

AI systems with built-in data analysis capabilities can provide all organizations with the ability to become more cybersecurity. For example, AI systems could be used by law firms - which are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals - to monitor and evaluate data that involve attempts to penetrate their information technology infrastructure so that they can proactively identify trends and patterns and close security breaches for more robust cybersecurity. Law firms may be able to use these AI tools for their own benefit by demonstrating to potential clients that they are more cybersecurity than their competitors.


Meeting e-Discovery requirements

Proper management of the production of mass volumes of electronically stored information is of paramount importance during the litigation process. There are many e-Discovery technology solutions available in this growing market. As an example, Microsoft's legal department uses the e-Discovery features of the cloud computing solution Microsoft Office 365 to improve the accuracy and utility of discovery results and save time and money: $4.5 million annually. IA-powered systems could further transform e-Discovery technology solutions by providing additional levels of efficiency and cost savings to lawyers and legal departments charged with managing their e-Discovery needs.



Improved Self-Help Legal Resources

Law firms, in-house legal departments and non-profit legal aid organizations increasingly provide legal self-help resources directly to their clients through web portals as a form of disenfranchised. Customers often resist using these resources, as they may lack a personal touch. An AI chatbot and/or digital assistant could serve as a personal browser to help customers use such self-help resources and can lead to greater use and adoption by customers.





Gráfico sistema cognitivo

Josep Navarro's picture
Josep Navarro es Licenciado en Económicas por la UB, especializado en Inspecciones Tributarias, con más de 25 años de experiencia en asesoría fiscal para empresas y particulares en España.

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