The changing landscape of artificial intelligence in legal tech
When it comes to artificial intelligence in legal tech, where do you find yourself? Do you avoid innovation due to worries about being replaced by a robot? Or, do you embrace technology for its ability to help you do more with less?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is just starting to make its presence known in the legal profession. Much the same way that email changed how attorneys practice law, AI in law is poised to improve efficiency and organization in the industry.
It’s an exciting time for lawyers and paralegals. You can think of artificial intelligence as an invaluable personal assistant. Technology can take care of the mundane tasks, while you focus on crafting legal arguments and providing advice. Instead of replacing attorneys, artificial intelligence in legal tech is here to support them.
Legal Files Software has been implementing new developments in AI for years. To help you learn more about this exciting technology, we’re going to use part one of this blog series to explore what AI is and how it works. In part two, we’ll look at how our software uses this technology and how you can help us create the next generation of software.
Defining artificial intelligence
When you think of AI in law, you might envision a robot attorney. That image might be entertaining, but it’s also misleading. In the legal world, cognitive computing is a better way to think of artificial intelligence. But, what does this mean?
Cognitive computing involves teaching computers how to communicate, learn, reason and make decisions. However, it is not something we can just program. Computers need to learn how to perform tasks, such as look for patterns in data and find certain results. It’s like an assistant who learns how to search through mountains of data to find exactly what you need.
Machine learning: How to train your computer
Artificial intelligence in law comes down to teaching a computer three basic processes, including how to:
- Collect information
- Analyze and make sense of the data
- Use the information to make decisions
When it comes to AI in law, the first goal is machine learning. This is when the computer starts making decisions and processing information with minimal programming. Instead of writing rules that tell the computer how to interpret data, specific algorithms help the computer learn.
After machine learning comes deep learning. This is a process that involves using more advanced algorithms to handle tasks like identifying pictures.
With both machine and deep learning, computers get better at their jobs as they gain more experience, much like how attorneys become better at their jobs with practice and mentorship. When it comes to artificial intelligence, you’re the one to teach and mentor the computer.
As you interact with the computer and correct its mistakes, the system begins to self-correct. Then, the computer can learn how to perform a task, like generate a report or run a search, with very little outside influence and with greater accuracy.
Other advantages of machine and deep learning
As part of the learning process, the computer will also start to filter out results that are over-inclusive. After all, it wouldn’t be very helpful to run a search that brings up thousands of results. However, deep learning helps a computer learn what is useful to a user and how to narrow the search results.
Computers and humans need a way to interact. In the past, this has involved a person entering information into a computer and hitting Enter. These keyword searches use Boolean logic. This means that each search has no relationship to any of your previous searches.
AI in legal changes this dynamic by allowing each search to become part of the learning process. Every time you search and get an answer, this teaches the computer how to get better at its job.
The importance of artificial intelligence in legal tech
You might be wondering why you need this technology, especially if you already have an assistant. According to IBM, we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That’s an insane amount of information, and no human could possibly review and digest even a fraction of it without help from AI.
This trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. According to Moore’s Law, computer power will double about every two years, but the cost of that power will decrease. This means that we all get more tech for less money. When you combine Moore’s Law with the decreasing cost of storing digital data, you can see a huge opening for AI in law.
The growth of artificial intelligence presents an exciting opportunity for attorneys and their staff. By giving routine and mundane tasks to computers, legal professionals can increase productivity and decrease costs. Instead of spending hours each month generating reports or looking for information, attorneys can focus on the actual practice of law. This is something that computers cannot do.
Additionally, M.B.A programs at top schools like Harvard and MIT are adding courses on artificial intelligence. As a result, more CEOs and CFOs will begin using AI. They will also expect other members of their team, including the legal department, to do the same. When you embrace this technology, you become more valuable to the next generation of leaders.
Looking back at AI in legal and moving into the future
Now that you understand artificial intelligence, you can see why its use is growing in the legal profession. Thanks to this technology, computers can learn repetitive tasks that attorneys and paralegals once had to do. Whether this involves drafting documents or searching for key terms in a contract, AI in law can free up your time to focus on the actual practice of law.
In the next part of this blog series, we will explore some specific ways that Legal Files Software uses artificial intelligence in legal tech to help lawyers become more organized and efficient. You’ll also learn how you can help influence the next generation of legal case management system products.