26 February 2015 at 06:04 BST

Legal avatars could soon be reality

Robots and artificial intelligence in the legal eco-system are an opportunity and a blessing rather than a threat and a curse, according to the author of a book on the future of law.

Legal avatars are circling the marketplace Evgenii Bobrov

'The dawn of robot law is upon us. Realise the future or ignore it, prepare or watch from the sidelines: it’s your choice,' says Chrissie Lightfoot, author of  Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer: NewTech, NewHuman, NewLaw. Her book predicts that artificial intelligence, iCyborgs and robots will infiltrate and shake-up the legal profession well before 2020. 'Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the legal eco-system are to be embraced, not resisted, for the new arms race is all about AI,' she says, adding that legal avatars could be a reality as early as this year.

Robotic legal staff

Citing from her latest book, the author says that in the very near future it is ‘perfectly possible and probable that blue-collar & white-collar robot legal staff will work alongside ‘pure blood’ lawyers and ‘hybrid humans’ (NewHuman)…It’s not as far off as people think.’ She points out that the world already has robot nurses, robot waiting staff and humanoids. 'It’s inevitable that robots will infiltrate the legal world, and in a really good way. This year we will witness avatars enter the legal work space, I have no doubt.’  Recently, student lawyers have designed an app called Ross, claimed as the 'first artificially intelligent attorney,' which is able to conduct legal searches in answer to natural language queries, based on IBM’s cognitive computer.

Entrepreneurialism is a must

Ms Lightfoot’s book is published in the week of the Global Law Summit.  At the event, Professor Susskind, IT adviser to the Lord Chief Justice, has warned lawyers attending the Global Law Summit earlier this week that they have a ‘window of opportunity’ before technological changes in the 2020s transform the way they work. ‘Entrepreneurial, imaginative and creative lawyers’ should seize the opportunity to think differently about what they do,’  he said.With entrepreneurialism high on the agenda, ‘the future of the law depends on entrepreneurialism being injected into our profession,’ Professor Susskind maintained.

Legal Avatars

Views in NewTech, NewHuman, NewLaw are also supported by Rohit Talwar, CEO FastFuture and global futurist, who predicts that by 2020, avatars will be mainstream in society. By 2025, robots will have entered every aspect of human life and will be performing a wide range of functions, from complex surgery to policing and security. 

NewTech

NewTech, a term  coined by Ms Lightfoot  for cloud-based systems software and artificially intelligent machine systems, cannot be under-estimated or understated in bringing about legal efficiency. Discerning clients and prospects, from general counsel to laymen, expect and demand efficiency, she stated. 'AI and robots will certainly help in achieving this goal.’  Dr Peter Waggett, head of Emerging Technology at IBM observes in Ms Lightfoot’s predictions: ‘It’s not IF computers will be smarter than humans, but when.'

Chrissie Lightfoot is author of Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer: NewTech, NewHuman, NewLaw – How to be successful 2015 to 2045. (published Dec 2014 ), and its prequel bestseller The Naked Lawyer: RIP to XXX – How to Market, Brand and Sell You! (Dec 2010). You can pick up her latest book today by emailing publishing@ark-group.com or call +44(0) 207 566 5792 

 
   
 
 
 

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