Artificial intelligence: will it impact the legal profession?

A great piece on Forbes today (originally sourced from Q and A style social network Quora) asks whether artificial intelligence will affect the legal system.

The short answer, for us, is no it won’t – the legal system, if we take that to mean the laws themselves, isn’t going to change because of AI. Its implementation, however, and the way it is administered at legal practice level, is already on the move.

The only surprise is that this is being treated as something new. Intelligent Sourcing in its previous incarnation as Professional Outsourcing Magazine played and continues to play host to a series of dinner events, at which legal process outsourcing has been a hot topic. Outsourcing to humans is well established but outsourcing low-level tasks and ingestion/classification of legal documents was already rising several years ago.

This is going to continue and will have the capacity to expand as the technology becomes more sophisticated; whether the law and trust in the systems will have to move to accommodate the move is an open debate. Nonetheless one robotics expert we know is advising his friends’ kids (and his own) not to go into the law as a profession as he believes a lot of it will be automated over a period of time.

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