AI or artificial intelligence is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings” (Encyclopedia Brittanica). With the objectives of AI including: learning, reasoning and perception, the role of AI is to fill the gap between what automation cannot do and those tasks that exclusively require human skills. In a nutshell, AI is augmented assistance for humans by providing analysis that automation is not capable of doing.
AI has generated a lot of buzz in recent years, occasionally accompanied with wild promises of transforming the legal industry, and understandably, in-house legal professionals have been hesitant to adopt it.
According to the 2020 Future Ready Lawyer Survey by Wolters Kluwer, 58% of legal departments expect AI to affect their organisation over the next three years. Despite this, only 23% say that they understand it very well. As legal departments are increasing their adoption of technology to improve efficiency, it is natural to ask “how can AI help?” Teaching a machine to perform routine tasks – like data extraction, contract review or analytics reporting – is not only attractive, but entirely possible.
That said, AI is not a magic wand, nor does it replace the vital role of lawyers. The law remains complex, and even though intelligence can be taught, subtleties can escape the machine. The key is to adopt AI technology to automate your manual processes to become more productive, not to adopt AI simply for the sake of it.
The whitepaper A pragmatic approach to AI for legal departments aims to examine what AI is, and what it is not, demonstrate AI capabilities by sharing real use cases and to provide advice on where AI fits in your company’s legal technology roadmap. Armed with these new insights, AI will no longer be a myth or an unattainable dream, but a realistic and innovative technology that you can easily implement within your legal department, when you are ready, to drive efficiency and reduce costs.
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