21 March 2017 at 09:13 BST

Robots are lawyers' friends not threat

Lawyers need not fear being replaced by robots but instead breathe a sign of relief that their human skills will remain a necessity and AI will be their friend and potentially help improve working conditions.

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With more than 280 legal technology start-ups raising $757 million since 2012, according to the research firm CB Insights, legal tech is changing the way legal services are provided. The New York Times article noted that many of the start-ups have typically focused on a specific area of law, like insolvency or patents, or on a certain legal task such as contract review.  Whilst the software learns over time, this is only after it has been painstakingly trained by human experts, the article says.  But robots are not going to replace lawyers anytime soon, the article also notes. Professor Levy and Dana Remus of the University of North Carolina School of Law studied the automation threat to lawyers at large law firms. In their paper, they stated that all the new technology in place would result in an estimated 13 per cent decline in lawyers’ hours but would not replace an actual human lawyer.

Human skills needed

Overall, artificial intelligence can scan and predict what documents to use in a case, but current robots are not advanced enough to advise clients, negotiate and appear in court, or write legal briefs. The study said that lawyers’ jobs will not be going away any time soon, and that it is more likely that robots will cut lawyers’ hours by 2.5 per cent over five years.

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The findings are echoed by a former report from McKinsey Global Institute, which suggested that said nearly half of tasks can be automated but only 5 per cent of jobs can be replaced by robots. Source: New York Times

 
   
 
 
 

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