Using artificial intelligence in the legal workflow

How could we tell if artificial intelligence has actually arrived? Is it still in development or is it currently being used? There are many opinions on the topic, but most people cannot recognize examples of artificial intelligence and do not understand how it can be used in law.

Sophisticated technologies like digital personal assistants, robot vacuums, and adaptive cruise control and lane assist in cars are becoming more and more commonplace. Are these examples of artificial intelligence or are they just better computers like the ones we already have?

The inability to decide what artificial intelligence is and what exactly it does limits how we can contextualize the technology and appreciate how we might be able to use it personally.

There is an important difference. Smart devices can use artificial intelligence for small convenient tasks, powerful AI applications can do far more than was previously possible.

Artificial intelligence in smart devices

When smartphones were first able to notify their user of upcoming appointments, that was revolutionary. Before that, people had to make note of their upcoming appointments and ensure that they referred back to that record to be certain that they were not missing out. Today, a smartphone not only knows when your next appointment is, but it notifies you and can even inform you of the traffic conditions on the way. AI is how face-unlock on your phone works, even if you aren’t wearing your glasses today. It’s how your smart speaker can pick your voice out from among all the other noises in your home. And it is how your car outperforms your best parallel parking attempts. AI in smart devices makes everyday tasks easier.

The difference between AI in everyday life and AI in the legal work space is in the application and impact of the technology. AI can unlock the ability to recognize things that were previously buried under heaps of data. When searching for online information in the past, you had to read through the first page of search results before making your next move. Today, search bars autocomplete your question before you’ve even finished typing. Similarly, AI can anticipate your legal needs and concentrate search results on answering your questions.

There are many options for AI in the legal field, with many major providers offering advanced solutions. It is important to find an AI option which can offer decision-making, action suggestions, and helpful judgment. Typically, these kinds of applications can help you to exceed your current potential and rise above your opponents.

Examples of legal AI are:

  • Tools for document analysis which can process legalese and natural language to help you write and work comfortably
  • Research tools to analyse the behaviors and decisions of other attorneys and judges so that you can adapt your strategy
  • Intelligence that uses historical data and relationships to alert you to opportunities or flaws in your work

Why does this matter

Human time is extremely important. Although these functions may not be new to law, they save you time. AI can help attorneys to become even better by handling the tasks that they would not have the time to do by themselves.

Results of using AI include increased speed, efficiency, and a higher quality output. There is also an improvement to quality of life. The smart thermostat in your home not only lowers your energy bill, but it also makes the temperature more comfortable and you didn’t have to do anything. In the same way, working faster and more efficiently might give you the opportunity to get out of the office on time for once.

AI is not the solution to every problem, and it is not always very visible. But as it becomes more and more common, attorneys who value their time must recognize the benefits AI brings and use it where they can.