Is ‘AI for Lawyers’ Just the Latest Buzz Word?

Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, mimic certain operations of the human mind, adjust to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks. Machine learning occurs when computers use algorithms to analyze data, learn patterns and extract insights from the data. These types of technologies are large factors shifting the way legal work is done.

Thomson Reuters conducted a survey of in-house attorneys in 2017 to measure current perceptions regarding the use of AI in corporate legal departments and the perceived benefits of AI once adopted. The study finds that regardless of individual perceptions, the use of AI in legal practices is already occurring and is poised for even greater adoption. AI is not a threat. Rather, like other technological advances before it, it’s about evolving the practice of law and improving how legal teams work and process information.

Using artificial intelligence for the analysis and management of traditionally unstructured information, has the potential to not just unlock more value for users, but also provide insights that have not been possible before. That is why AI for legal workers is beginning to gain traction.


Improving Document Reviews and Legal Search

Artificial intelligence has the potential to deliver a significant transformation to contract management and make the discovery phase of the litigation process proceed more quickly. With contracts now being digitized, AI-powered software improves the efficiency of document analysis for legal use and machines can review documents and flag them as relevant to a particular case. Once a certain type of document is denoted as relevant, machine learning algorithms can get to work to find other documents that are similarly relevant.

Machines are much faster at sorting through documents than humans and can produce output and results that can be statistically validated. They can help reduce the load on the human workforce by forwarding on only documents that are questionable rather than requiring humans to review all documents. Since this can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of a case, these systems could potentially help parties resolve their disputes more quickly throughout any arbitration or litigation, thus also saving costs.

In addition, as business velocity has grown, and customer and supplier relationships have become more complex, the number of documents a legal team must manage has also grown, increasing the chance of being inconsistent. Using AI to identify obligations, monitor missed items and create employee notification workflows looks to be a no-brainer. AI can sort large volumes of contracts and can offer simple predictions that humans cannot do at scale.


Initiating Digital Document Creation with Your Voice

Businesses need to constantly adapt to regulatory changes, which requires a fast, reactive, and nimble approach to trade, commerce and relationships with customers and suppliers. Applying AI to these commercial relationships will help to meet these changes head on and equip any organization with the right tools to focus on providing essential support for growth.

Digitization is the first step to start the transformation journey.

Attorneys have traditionally created documents with their voice to increase efficiency in client service. While in the past cassettes were handed to an assistant to type documents, today this is a fully digital process essential to document digitization. The voice recording happens with a digital handheld recorder, or a headset or microphone connected to the computer and results in a digital voice file. This voice file can then be either handled by an assistant in a transcription work list on her computer, or automatically transferred into text via speech recognition. The voice file may also be sent to a transcription service for outsourced document creation.

Either way – it is all digital and therefore turning documents into strategic assets. AI has the potential to bring these digital assets to life and make the increasing velocity of business easier to manage.

As AI finds its way into many more industries, it’s already much more than a buzz word in the legal industry, too. AI is intended to enhance human ingenuity and create even greater opportunities. Between digital transformation and artificial intelligence, the future will bring exciting developments to the legal industry.



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