One thing to note is that a huge amount of legal work done today is actually quite possible to automate. It's a lot of reading through documents and finding the few clauses that actually matter to a contract or document, then focusing in on those. It's defining an overall strategy and then fleshing out (mostly templated) documents to implement that strategy.
Another factor in favor of legal AI is that legal documents have much more restricted grammar than standard English text, leading to less ambiguity. This makes them both easier to parse and to create automatically (you don't need to make the text sound "natural"). By 2030, AI will be able to easily summarize a full legal document and provide relevant references. (In fact, probably much sooner.)
That being said, it's important to note that this report isn't predicting the disappearance of lawyers (nor am I). Instead, it's the collapse of traditional law firms, which depend on a pyramid of partners doing high-level sales and strategy work being supported by associates and paralegals doing the grunt work. The grunt work is rapidly becoming automated, but I don't think AI will ever replace the client interactions and recommendations component. We've seen a lot of success with AI-lawyer pairing and I do think we'll see much more of it in the future. This definitely challenges the organizational structure of law firms. In the future, I think we'll see a lot more small and individual practices where clients work with a partner they trust who can get a lot more done thanks to AI doing all the grunt work.
To replace that you need a true Strong AI. So I expect lawyers to be replace shortly after everyone else is replaced. Give or take a few years, since lawyers have some protectionist options, like banning AI from being a lawyer.
Weak AI will eat around the edges. Better spelling, grammar, and cite checking software could reduce a lot of billable time. But most associates spend less than 10% of their time doing that.
For big litigation, document review has been mostly outsourced to legal service companies. I've been a junior associate (the ones traditionally responsible for reviewing documents) for about 2 year. I think I've billed ~200 hours to that (out ~4,200 hours I've billed total). Client won't pay our rates. So we hire contractors for 25 dollars an hour. There is still room for disruption. Predictive coding will probably become the norm within 15 years. But it's only going to put the temp "doc reviewers" out of job.
Westlaw and Lexis already summarize cases, index them. ALJ and Mathew Bender sells practice guides. Firms subscribe to proofreading, document processing, and printing services. They hire paralegals and assistants to do the less taxing work.
It's also important to note that business model of firms only relies on associates billing hours because it's convenient. Clients don't pay 500 an hour for an associate to make sure commas are correct because it costs that much to provide. It's just an add on service to get the high level talent's analysis and judgement. Nickle and diming essentially. Associate costs are fairly small portion of current billing rates.
Most of the grunt work I do is bespoke. Stuff like comparing one patent to another. We have google patent and questal to search. But it takes a human to do the analysis. Even humans of average intelligence with an engineering degree aren't very good at it. If you can build an AI that does it for any patent you feed in, all of our jobs are fucked.
You must live in a world where NLP software is very advanced. In mine, researchers found it so hard to either produce or understand human language, that most of them switched to playing statistical tricks on images.
I agree. We're not going to be seeing AI replacing lawyers any time soon.
That being said, I think you are downplaying the efficiency gains which come from AI and lawyers working together, especially when it comes to bespoke work.
For your example, diffing two patents is indeed something which still requires human intelligence. But there are ways of making the process of comparison more efficient by automatically correlating similar claims, providing references inline, etc.
This goes beyond the easy wins which come from "better spelling, grammar, and cite checking software" (which are themselves non-negligible).
People tend to think about job-destruction from AI in terms of when AI can replace everyone doing that job, but the real negative (in terms of job growth) impact comes a long time before that.
If AI is good enough to let 1 person do the job 5 used to do, that's already a huge economic impact -- 80% reduction is huge.
Me and a few people at were joking that we should leave our firm and write an addon for Chrome that adds cites when you copy and paste from google patent.
I would kill for that.
Cannot say for sure in your case but OneNote is pretty good at linking to where you copied stuff from.
It's a bit like wordpress. Making a decent website really doesn't take a programmer today. But for a long time the frameworks (like django) were making site builders lives easy without making the projects near-free for end users.
The first high quality lawyer replacement service I've used is clerky. I expect more and more startups in that space.
Traditional law firms are starting to invest in software like this. While it can be used to reduce hours, it can also be used to sell more by increasing the value of the hours spent. For example, instead of doing a review of a subset of a clients documents, they can offer to review all the documents for the same, or even slightly higher price.
I'm definitely biased, but I do think that's the direction that legal technology is going. Right now it's about making it easier and faster for lawyers to review documents: eventually it will be about them not even having to review documents at all.
>The Hammurabi Project is an experiment in converting legal source material to the C# programming language. [...] The idea is to grow a body of source code that mirrors the structure of U.S. federal and state legislation, regulation, and case law. https://mpoulshock.github.io/hammurabi/
>The Stanford Computable Contracts Initiative (SCCI) is working on legal technology that will help move the world from natural language based contracts toward a world of computable contacts.
> The project [Designing and Understanding Forensic Bayesian Networks with Arguments and Scenarios] ’s new approach is to link the successful statistical modelling technique of Bayesian networks to models that effectively dovetail legal argumentation and scenario construction in the legal world. http://www.ai.rug.nl/~verheij/nwofs/
>Instead of automating legal work, I intend to focus on augmenting legal work. Specifically, my project [Computational Linguistics and Effective Legal Drafting] focuses on using advances in computational linguistics technology to help lawyers draft more precise and error-free legal documents like contracts, regulations and statutes.
But as I have stated elsewhere, document summarization and classification is not even in the ballpark of an AI lawyer. Excel didn't replace the Accountant. It's like a fancy Excel for clerks and paralegals (and Excel was a wildly successful product).
You sort of admit that but I think it is more than just the interactions with clients or making them "feel good." I don't think it really addresses what lawyering is or how positive legal outcomes can be achieved. This ma be a weak comparison but it's like we all know that the point of programming is not writing code and cleaning up memory; it's to create solutions to problems.
Also, I think the traditional structure of the firm serves many more purposes than just specifying a hierarchy for task assignment.
Fair enough. :) Though I tried to be a little more nuanced than that.
To be clear, I don't think AI will replace lawyers any time soon. It's just making them more efficient. Our customers are layers, not people looking for legal services.
> Excel didn't replace the Accountant.
Great analogy. We don't think AI is going to replace lawyers any time soon, but it will make them more efficient (and potentially eliminate some of the lower-tier staff, like what technology has done to pure "bookkeepers.")
> I think it is more than just the interactions with clients or making them "feel good."
Sorry if I didn't make it clear, but I do think lawyers still provide a lot of value which AI can't easily replace. There's a reason we didn't have an AI write our equity plan.
> I think the traditional structure of the firm serves many more purposes than just specifying a hierarchy for task assignment.
That might be true, but remember that associates are expensive. If the budget for them has pressure applied on it and with AI you can get away with 1 associate instead of 5, that's going to change the legal track substantially.
In IT, junior programmers used to toil hard with algorithms and data-structures to come up with barely working programs. Now there are IDEs, libraries, frameworks, CMSs all built and ready for them, so what will they learn?
In Physics and Math, Scientists worked hard on just the theoretical framework first and scratch their heads in classrooms. Now there are computer software that do it for them. Perhaps this explains we didn't get another Newton/Einstein since last few decades?
Instead, what I think we'll see is that lawyers use AI to become more efficient, especially at the associate level. So the same workload which previously took 5 associates will take 1.
Firms will still be hiring associates and thus have a partner path, but intake will be much lower. So instead of having to be top half at a top 5 school you'll have to be in the top 10% to stand a chance.
That's...really not true. Legal documents pretty much admit the full scope of the English language -- both grammar and vocabulary -- though there are constructions and vocabulary that have special meaning in particular contexts within legal documents that would either not be found in English outside of the legal context or would have different meaning. (And ISTR seeing cases where construction within the particular documents led to significant questions of whether elements that exist both in general English and in the specialized language of law but have different meanings had their typical legal meaning or their more general meaning in the particular document.)
What are the degrees of freedom that are enabled by grammar and differ?
Let me first say that I don't think we will have human-level AGI by 2030. If we somehow do, all bets are off.
The high-level work requires a large amount of creativity in developing nuanced strategies for a particular domain. It also involves integrating knowledge and ideas from a lot more than the law. Consider that the vast majority of intelligent humans who attempt to make it to partner don't make it. Top lawyers are highly skilled, and automating them away is not trivial.
Also consider the trust factor. We've done some customer discovery in this space and most people would just not be comfortable working directly with an AI. This is especially true because a good portion of what partners are doing is human contact work with clients, courts, and opposing counsel. There's a lot of leverage which comes from being able to read and manipulate people which AI can't replicate easily.
Note that I'm referring to the 2030 date specifically for this. I don't think lawyers (or, really, any current profession) will exist in 2100.
I'm imagining a combined semi-automated service where the paperwork side of law - simple wills, notarisation, simple divorces, and so on - is completely automated, and the creative elements are farmed out to individual attorneys with a public track record of success who compete on price.
It's going to kill the traditional law firm business model stone dead.
Lawyers are basically paid to logic-chop precedent and written law, and to be persuasive and/or intimidating in more or less creative ways. IMO eventually all of that could be automated.
I don't see any reason why AI couldn't potentially have super-human powers of persuasion and manipulation. It won't happen by 2030, but the next step are document searching is to bundle up the basics of law as a low-cost automated service, and then start automating the process of argument, cross-examination, and persuasion - which will lead to an arms race, which will lead to very rapid advances, which will lead to complete automation of civil and criminal law by (I'd guess) the end of the century.
Primarily because people generally want to choose and talk to their attorney. It's basically the opposite of taxis, where people didn't care who the driver was and (generally) preferred minimal interaction.
For Uber, not having to interact with your driver or choose them is a benefit. In law, it would be a detriment.
That's why I think the future isn't a monolithic application where you interact with a faceless half-human, half-AI lawyer. It's small individual attorneys accomplishing a lot more without needing expensive support staff thanks to AI.
> complete automation of civil and criminal law by (I'd guess) the end of the century.
Okay, sure. In the longer term, every profession will be automated though.
I suspect your belief that people want to choose their lawyer might be mistaken because damn near zero people even want a lawyer in the first place. I just don't see it as the important factor, and you certainly didn't provide any support for your contention anyway. I suspect you're making the classic mistake of believing people want it because that's the way it is now, which is rarely actually true in my experience.
IANAL. It's been a thing for very many years (since the late 1980s) because people freaking love talking about law, and they seek advice from random anons, (and offer advice to random anons) over the Internet.
There are plenty of people who seek legal advice from other people on Reddit.
A lot of people have very little money to pay for lawyers, but need legal advice, and so they're going to want anything they can get.
Yes but why do they want that? The reason is not just some emotional desire for hand holding. The main reason is that AIs are simply not (yet) very good at language related tasks, and there is not nearly as much progress as the current bout of hyperactive AI reporting suggests.
I'd imagine for the same reason HomeJoy didn't work. If you find a good lawyer - why bother going through the service and deal with the lawyer directly? I can see many firms adopting or licensing such a service, but I doubt it would change how clients approach them.
>I don't see any reason why AI couldn't potentially have super-human powers of persuasion and manipulation
I'd imagine once we have this, we would have Strong AI. At that point many traditional business models would be stone dead.
If/when human-level AGI becomes reality, the economic impacts will be the least of anyone's concerns: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superintelligence:_Paths,_Dang...
As for the know-how: Processing and comprehending legal texts does not seem to be an insurmountable technological task. However, the breadth of legal practice areas (family law, IP, criminal law, administrative law, etc.), and how these several areas often overlap to influence our daily lives seems a much more complex task.
As for the human element: legal problems are frequently extremely personal and require an empathetic response. This is so at the lawyer-client level, as well as the lawyer-lawyer level. After all, most legal issues require navigating complex relationships between humans, or groups of them. I don't think our society is ready for automated justice at this point. My clients certainly aren't.
So, it seems the human component isn't immediately threatened by AI, while the technical know-how might benefit those with deeper pockets and access to the "better" AI. Practically speaking though, the deep pocketed clients already have armies of lawyers at their disposal. With that in mind, the technical advances are likely to benefit smaller practitioners and clients (like me) who have limited resources.
I fully expect to be practicing law in 2030. If all the lawyer jobs are fully automated by then, I'll have MUCH more to worry about.
There are plenty of people who were in industry and were forced out because they could not adapt to more efficient tooling to keep their jobs. Those that learned on ASM and Fortran may not be adapt for a world of prebaked containers and building everything out of node plugins that do the work. Even less are they suited to training heuristics for genetic algorithms that implement some of our most sophisticated software projects like speech recognition or vision.
By comparison at least those with money have saturated their demand for lawyers. Law is a particularly targetable field since its often considered overhead or expense.
Your only argument is stating that the demand for lawyers is saturated. How is that different from saying the supply curve and the demand curve cross? This is about a shift in the supply curve. The whole point of the previous comment is that AI-assisted legal counsel will be much much cheaper than it currently is. That means people will quite likely want more of it.
Even if the process of checking the contracts is fully automated, there's still a role for an associate/paralegal level lawyer (overseeing many more contracts than their predecessors) to answer followup questions, because their clients aren't going to navigate through case law summaries to get a more thorough explanation of non-standard term 3.1b's applicability to their specific situation if they can still phone somebody with a law degree.
The human element is a quite good argument, at least without a major shift in perception of lawyers. However, I think that automation will realistically change what lawyers do, as well as the overall market for lawyers. One 'easy' area of law would be scanning employment contracts for standard clauses and you get some information at each paragraph what it means. Third page: first paragraph gets a green background and a note on the side says standard language, three more days off per year than standard. Second paragraph gets a yellow background and a note that says may get you into trouble if you use a company notebook for recreational programming. Third paragraph gets a red background and a text "Highly non standard, check with a lawyer." In this example, a lawyer still gets involved, he just does not have to check for the routine stuff and if history is any indication, this is what will happen. The routine stuff gets automated and the interesting cases are referred to the few remaining humans.
The only forces keeping law in its relative stasis are its attachments to slow-moving government processes, its 'guild-like culture' and the resulting protectionism. But, once capital moves faster in that direction (and it will) those systematic factors will slide apart quite easily.
It's good to be confident, but having participated in and thus seen the wave of progress in AI over the last 20 years, I'm pretty scared for my own career. It is definitively an exponential process and one that probably rivals Moore's law in effectiveness.
And the government and guild protections are fictions. I work at a small boutique that would love to be able to take bigger cases away from big white shoe firms by leveraging technology. We're not going to leave money on the table right now because of some abstract loyalty to the "guild." If the technology existed, we would use it. So would everyone else. The legal industry is extremely competitive. There are hundreds of large business law firms in the country. Way too many to keep up some artificial convention not go adopt new technology that works.
I don't think they're fictions insofar as lawyers (and laws) command a unique place in our society that other industry inputs don't. Insofar as lawyers have the ability and the incentive to prevent sweeping changes to their industry, the guild mentality seems very real to me.
I take your point though: smaller firms are very willing to make technology changes to find themselves new competitive advantages. Here's hoping smaller firms like yours (and mine) keep nipping away at those monstrous firms =D. FWIW, I have not had positive experiences when dealing with them...
I'm trying to think of a concrete example of protectionism keeping out new technology, and frankly I'm at a loss. I don't think it squares with the economics. Clients these days come with a budget in mind. If a law firm can do the work with say half as many billable hours by using technology, they can bid to do the work for a fixed fee 25% below the market rate, and then pocket the difference. It'd be a no brainer, if that technology existed. Instead, more often you see firms agreeing to a budget cap and just eating hours billed over the cap.
In my lifetime I'd need to go back to before 1974 or so for things to be really different. That's before microprocessors became commonly used. Before pong. Not before Unix though. 40 years. Still not that different from today.
Now my subscription allows me to use my 4g in most of the EU and the US, it works very well, wifi is everywhere so basically you do not have to remember any facts. Google AI recognises pictures and auto makes panoramas and videos from pictures. When I search anything programming the first hit is the answer. Children have smartphones and tablets and use them all the time. So do my parents and my 80+ old neighbours. There are millions of coders online instead of the tiny amount in 2000; starting a software services company in 2000 was a breeze (I did) to grow and get fortune 1000 clients as there simply was very little and most was crap; try that now. Startups are everywhere and a huge % of students see that as an option now. We can 3d print implants. Did you check games lately? I can go on and on.
Although tech only got faster and bigger the world is completely different. And that is because those 'marginal' enhancements in tech and science.
I can't think of an industry that hasn't been touched since then, and most have been utterly transformed.
Lawyers are meant to achieve positive results for clients even in litigious circumstances. For instance, in an auto accident case, a lawyer must carefully consider how best to present medical evidence to get the best possible offer in a settlement negotiation.
Lawyers must consider creative solutions to legal problems that are not as others suggested "just finding precedent snippets."
How do I even explain my complex case to the AI lawyer, assuming it is not some kind AGI Overlord? It's sort of stupid, I'm sorry to say, to me to see it suggested that lawyers can be replaced by LegalZoom+NLP. Maybe these people have never needed a lawyer for anything other than what they consider to be perfunctory paper pushing or they think we should not have an adversarial legal system.
If I have a serious legal problem I will take a serious firm of experienced lawyers over an NLP system. I guess if your outcome doesn't matter to you, you can pick what you like. It reminds me of the saying about the lawyer defending himself having a fool for a client.
They will if the service costs $10/mo instead of the $100s or $1000s per /hour/ you are charging...
Clients are already lapping up automated legal services (wills, contracts, etc.). But I don't think they're willing to accept a judgment from an opaque black box. Indeed, the cost to receive a judgment does tangentially involve some automatable processes, and those costs will come down as our computers get smarter.
To extrapolate a bit: as long as humans are determining legal outcomes, there will be human advocates. There will be human judges for as long as we have a Constitution.
We do some litigation, but in our small town it typically doesn't require extensive electronic discovery or document analysis that this post talks about.
> When five television studios became entangled in a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit against CBS, the cost was immense. As part of the obscure task of “discovery” — providing documents relevant to a lawsuit — the studios examined six million documents at a cost of more than $2.2 million, much of it to pay for a platoon of lawyers and paralegals who worked for months at high hourly rates.
> But that was in 1978. Now, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, “e-discovery” software can analyze documents in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost. In January, for example, Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, Calif., helped analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000.
> Some programs go beyond just finding documents with relevant terms at computer speeds. They can extract relevant concepts — like documents relevant to social protest in the Middle East — even in the absence of specific terms, and deduce patterns of behavior that would have eluded lawyers examining millions of documents.
"Nonprofits and government entities have put almost all of the raw materials of American law online and Google and other search engines have made that law easier to find than ever. An American with a smart phone now has more access to legal sources than most lawyers or judges did fifteen years ago."
When stuff is made available on the open web for google (and other search engines) to index, that is the AI revolution right there. I say bring it on. Laws and court proceedings should be treated as public property. It should be put on the open web, permalinkable, annotatable, preferably with an explicit open license, so we can all benefit
And the limited uptake has not been for want of trying. There are plenty of firms that don't do document review in-house that would jump at the opportunity to take bigger cases away from mega-firms by leveraging technology. But the reality doesn't quite live up to the marketing. The overwhelming trend has been towards outsourcing work previously done by associates to low-priced contract attorneys, but even that shift seems to have reached a point of equilibrium.
 A good example is spelling and grammar correction. Word isn't much better at it than it was 15 years ago. You still can't do search and replace that fixes conjugation and numerical agreement.
If I had the choice of registering my appearance via a video conference link, it would have been so much more easier. If a never tiring bot would do the research, it could check for references/past cases which a junior can simply not check due to constraints of time/energy. My lawyer would have a much more exhaustive list of points to check and assess which applies to my case. So on and on.
Technology would result in law firms have to significantly re-evaluate what they do and I think it is high time that happens.
Why would that be a bad thing?
I had to deal with immigration lawyers for a friend about 2 years ago after deferred action took place. She was born in Mexico, but her parents came over here shortly after she was born. With deferred action, if you have a high school degree, are younger than 35, never left the US after you originally arrived here here and don't have anything on your "record" (which is a fuzzy thing in itself), you get a work permit with an SSN.
Now.. my friend is the most organized person you'll ever meet. For whatever reason, she decided to keep all of her homework, documents, mail, etc from high school 8 years prior. She never left the US, got mostly As, was good standing on jrotc. As a small anecdote, she also just got top employee award at a thousand person company without even working there for a year. Really, she was the kind of person that should have had a little bit of wiggle room.
Nope. She had a two month period of time that she couldn't find any documents from right after high school. They rejected her on the basis that she could have left the US at that time. It took 6 weeks to get a letter stating that. She immediately found some random mail and went through the whole process again. She got accepted, but it took another 6 weeks to get confirmation. THEN.. she had to 2 months to go to the SSN offices specially prepared for the "high traffic" where we were the only ones there, along with about 20 staff.
Oh, and then her brother who's been pulled over for speeding multiple times, dropped out of high school (he got his GED in fairness)... got a work permit with extreme ease. Hell, he even filed late without even using a lawyer.
Rant over, but you get the point. It's a frustrating process where there's a mold, but it's an ineffective baked-shit mold.
Edit: I helped another friend out who had a somewhat uncommon situation that let her get a greencard without going through the usual process. When DHS said she was good to go, the SSN told us it was "impossible to input the alien number" because it didn't have the correct amount of digits and couldn't be typed in their system. We were told to fill out a form that would take 6 weeks to process. DHS and the SSN office both refused to work with each other and we weren't allowed to use cell phones in the building. When we tried again about a month later, the person at the counter gave her an SSN on the spot without any issue. Frustrating.
Sometimes, of course, both doctors and lawyers screw up on this.
That's like if you were a programmer and you had to develop the same kind of applications over and over again and when you could basically copy/paste most of your code from the previous projects.
Imagine if an expert system did the work instead, at a fraction of the cost!
Of course, we still may be paying a person to do a reality check on what a computer comes up with. The same way we will pay a doctor to confirm that, yes indeed, that leg has to come off.
That being said, there is already a division of labor in the legal industry between client-facing work and more rote document analysis/prep. The latter is where I think we'll see most of the automation: instead of being supported by a bunch of associates, the partners will simply work with an AI.
Client interactions and higher-level decisions will still be entirely human.
I wonder if people ever said that about travel agencies?
I think there are plenty of things that people today wouldn't be comfortable with. I know many people that aren't comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars. 15 years from now, the things people are comfortable with could change.
Yep, they sure did. Or consider the restaurant business. With all other factors being equal, most of us would probably prefer a personal chef (or at least an expert one), an attentive, high-quality wait staff, fine china, real silverware, crystal glassware, linen tablecloths...
But they're not equal. In practice, McDonalds has a helluva lot more customers than Wolfgang Puck.
If this happens, it's probably going eat the legal industry from the bottom up. The rich will no doubt continue to have personal lawyers, just as they still have personal chefs. It will be the guys who want to contest a speeding ticket who will be the early adopters.
Especially when you consider that the vast majority of legal customers are themselves more traditional. Comfort with pure AI for legal analysis will likely only come with the next generation of business managers.
I don't think that's justified. I don't even know what it means. Am I ceding control to a computer when I use software? I love using software to take things out of my control. A mind boggling number of things relevant to my life are out of my control and I have no desire to control them. I'm not particularly special in this regard: Most of the things out of my control are voluntarily out of the control of millions of others.
Human nature seems to be the rhetorical black box that justifies every claim about human beings.
* Gets sued for bad product
* AI finds 10 law suits in this persons past of the same nature that got nullified.
This would be fairly simple for the AI but would save a lot of time and money.
I have absolutely no interest in reading dozens of terms of service or purchase contracts I use every day, which are all wordy and hard to read, and say basically the same.
A person could imagine SGI not collapsing and bringing GPGPU computing mainstream decades earlier.
How about this typical question: We shot a car commercial last month, but just noticed a McDonalds logo visible behind the car. The commercial is only being seen locally. Is it worth spending the money to pull the commercial and edit out the logo? (Spitting out trademark caselaw isn't an answer.)
Before the 1980s you had to do everything by post, not even fax. So you needed to follow up a lot more and talk a lot more on the phone.
Better technology doesn't necessarily mean that people will be "replaced" but it generally has meant that fewer people can do the same job.
There have been a lot of the 'lawyers will be replaced by robots' type articles recently and I think the more positive spin is that lawyers will be able to spend their time more wisely with the help of AI. As a junior lawyer I spent a lot of time and effort doing tasks which were important to a case or a transaction but were more suited to a machine (the inspiration behind RollRun).
AI won't replace the skill and insight of a lawyer, but it will definitely speed us up and I'm grateful for that. And I'm sure clients will be too when it's reflected in fees.
For example here is some recent work over the last few days at a leading London law firm.
" ... is advising GE on the intellectual property, know-how and information technology aspects of the potential sale of GE’s Equipment Finance and Receivables Finance businesses in France and Germany to Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel.
We are working with Bredin Prat and Hengeler Mueller who advise on certain French and German IP and technology aspects of the transaction."
" ... advised Santander UK Group Holdings plc on its issue under its EUR 30 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme of JPY 3,000,000,000 0.557 per cent. Notes due 2018 and JPY 27,000,000,000 0.787 per cent. Notes due 2020.
The Notes are dual-listed and have been admitted to listing and trading on the Global Exchange Market of the Irish Stock Exchange and the TOKYO PRO-BOND Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.
Mizuho International plc and Nomura International plc acted as Joint Lead Managers on the issuances."
Bespoke work like this will still have human lawyers guiding and monitoring the course of the transaction.
At this level, the cost of elite lawyers is less than a rounding error on the balance sheet.
(1) Though the work in aggregate may be highly complex, it is disaggregatable. A very significant portion of the overall cost of these bespoke matters is composed of automable work (e.g., diligence, preparing closing documents). Humans may guide and monitor, but that could exist with significant changes to how legal work gets done.
(2) While "the cost of elite lawyers is less than a rounding error on the balance sheet”, most serious companies (e.g., GE) take efficiency very seriously in their businesses overall. Why would they not expect and push for it with their outside lawyers?
For example: nothing is OCRed. So if a lawyer needs to get a section of a document they have to remember where it is.
There is some basic MS Word templating but really most law firms are stuck in the 19th century
It's surprising to m,e as I believe the community is largely made up of technologists, that I never see much questioning the fundamental claims here.
For that wet dream of that Internet Bayes Theorem Religion, that I will not name, to come true, it needs to first be possible and second, there must br credible, serious people to actually be working on it. Granted, artificial intelligence is a very hot area of research. However, for anyone that is either a researcher in this field, a graduate student in the field, or just someone actually very current on the latest papers and the current research programs, knows this is AGI of the SciFi sort is not really what is being worked on.
Not to go into all of the field but sure there are many interesting things happening in pattern recognition, NLP, machine learning and data mining and much work done with things like convolusional neural networks ..... but I'm sorry to say that these an AGI Overlord do not make. They are fancy techniques that yield very powerful and interesting results but in consideration of an AGI they are rather boring and banal.
Largely, the techniques have been discontinuous incremental improvements on reasonably simple ideas from the 1950s and 1960 but now utilizing massive parallelism. Unfortunately, I think, for AGI a non-trivial number of techniques are rooted in statistical and probabilistic methods, which I think anyone would agree is probably a a wrong track toward intuitive and creative problem solving.
It's not that those of us critical of AGI proclamations think that it is impossible, that would be rather bold, or that we think humans are magical or something. We probably just think that our brains, or even abstractly "true intelligence", are things that are unlikely able to be simulated by something like a Turing Machine. Any skeptic knows that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And I gotta tell ya, the way facial recognition works or even Watson, ain't it.
Also, I will say, just because something in the world is a certain way or if it is not exactly like Uber, does not mean it is necessarily a bad thing .... I'm just sayin' ....
An AGI Overlord would probably not be like the wild-eyed disruptor but more contemplative and understanding of the world as being very complex.
Nobody would be under any illusion that this was anything we could label "intelligence".
There is Terms of service didnt read but that seem to be manual.
A simple lever allows one person to do the work of many, human technological development is all about making fancier levers (and people bitching about how the next one will end society)
Autonomous vehicles, fine. If you ignore all the things that currently make transportation complicated, it's a fairly simple problem. I mean hell in the 1800s, they just put the vehicles on tracks with an engine and they were done. But most "white collar job" roles, if you get past cynical jokes, are actually well beyond the state of the art of AI research.
I mean, I love science fiction; I'm a big fan. But I'm also like a realist ...
Some legal work is just rote paperwork and perhaps much of this could be automated but it still requires a person to sign off on it etc. It remains to be seen whether this will just reduce the demand for lawyers. You are effectively just increasing the supply of legal services so while the quantity of services demanded (assuming some arbitrary quantifiable unit) will increase. It is not immediately clear that fewer lawyers will be in demand, I could see AI lowering the cost/barrier to entry for people seeking services and therefore more actual lawyers being required.
The rest of legal work is not just rote paper work and perhaps cannot be automated in the near future. If one person sues another person, I don't see any type of AI being capable of just calculating their way around who the problem and spitting out an answer for who gets what. Such a system that manages to account for every edge case would have to be unimaginably complex. You don't hire a lawyer to handle regular repeatable tasks that are well suited for computers, you hire them to handle things when something happens that is out of the ordinary or to consult on circumstances that are specific to you as an individual.
Law is also a field where reputation is tremendously important, and reputation isn't the type of problem that you can just engineer your way out of. Hundreds of years of tradition are not just going to be upended over night by some kid with a laptop because it isn't that sort of problem.
A prime target for AI is research. I could have saved a ton of time by scanning a document that gets OCR and then does a bunch of NLP to suggest related primary and secondary sources from a database. The specific algorithms aren't really that important but it would be a nice tool to augment the practice not replace it.
It's also important to note that the legal industry moves at a snails pace compared to the tech industry, people have a tendency to do things the way they've always been done and I don't think it is as prime for disruption as people on the outside from the tech industry would like to think. They will have a big impact to be sure but it isn't just going to crash like a tidal wave over night and put all these people out of jobs.
A further barrier is that all of this stuff still has to be adopted. Law is a very domain specific field that requires a lot of time and study, so is AI. The intersection of people who have experience in both is very slim indeed so the value proposition for lawyers at the top of their field who would be making these decisions is going to be a hard sell. It's going to be even harder when they realize it might decrease their billable hours.
tl;dr; AI will augment the legal field, not replace it. This viewpoint comes from my experience working in a law firm with software designed to automate some tasks, not pure speculation like this article seems to provide.
Religious arguments are full of logical fallacies. Getting those pointed out a non-human with no axe to grind might help a lot of people find there way out of this trap more quickly.
When I was 22, I remember a taped debate about religion I had borrowed from my brother. It helped me figure out that there really was no proof for all the assertions that I had accepted as true.
Being able to reach that conclusion without being in a debate myself was very useful. I wasn't trying to protect my self image or save someone else.
In much the same way, computer intelligence might be just the thing many need to help them out of the maze. Especially if they can have a conversation with it and it can precisely point out an error. And if the same intelligence can deal successfully with other complicated problems and negotiations.
Regardless, I think that "Religion has helped a lot of people, it's also hurt a great many people too.. so let's just focus on converting people out of religion!" is a dangerous position that will cause harm to many. Scientific processes for finding truth (which are really just things that are the least false) and religion are two separate domains. I don't see an explanation of what "the trap/maze" is and why it demands to be detached from humanity.
Not sure why the US is so religious but the education and lifestyle will kill it. No AI needed.
I think you profoundly underestimate the power of both religion and philosophy on the soul and imagination of man. Back in the 16th century, the "new learning" confidently predicted it would sweep away religious belief and other forms of "antiquated" thinking. How silly and facile that seems now. The fedora-clad New Atheists are no different—arrogantly predicting the demise of something far more powerful and permanent than they are.
But I didn't call it silly; I said it should be taken seriously. And frankly, "because science says so!" can be just as dogmatic (or even more so) than religion. "Science" isn't a monad anyway; we can't simply reference one overarching, completely non-contradictory science. And there are Christian approaches to science that, in fact, do not resort to "do not doubt." And that's just for starters—it's very misleading to posit a "religion or science: choose one" duality given the number of Christians in STEM professions, from Faraday to Larry Wall.
As far as "not sure why the US is so religious"—I don't think the US is more religious than other cultures, or why you would single the US out for approbation in that way. It's probably the case that Christianity has influenced Western civilisation and that has been expressed in a particular manner in the US on the Constitution with its enumerated rights and ordered liberties. The influence of Christianity on the West has much to do with why Western cultures are advanced in terms of technology, literacy, general learning, and the arts, even when those things are used for non-religious ends.
Not many jobs in law and justice contribute to catching and rehabilitating criminals who break laws that hurt others, and even then everything's done in triplicate (prosecution, defense, judge). Most legal jobs revolve around crimes that don't harm others, and civil and business law.
If the types of people who don't go into business don't have jobs, they might revolt and in some other way challenge entrenched power structures. So the government makes laws to maximize the number of people in work.