23 Feb 2015

Robots are the lawyers of the future

Lawyers, even at the highest level, are vulnerable to the advances of artificial intelligence as Amazon, Google and Facebook focus on ways of replacing humans with robots in all parts of the workplace.

A study from Oxford University suggests 35 per cent of existing UK jobs are at risk of automation in the next 20 years Ociacia

Writing in The Sunday Times, Andrew Keen - author of 'The Internet is Not the Answer' - says: 'Oddly enough, it's the most skilled workers who will be the most vulnerable in the second machine age.' He then explains that gardeners and cooks might not be replaced by software and then points to lawyers and accountants as being vulnerable to the changes. In fact, accountants 'have a 99 per cent chance of being replaced by networked software and automation over the next quarter century', he says. 

Replaced by algorithms

Mr Keen quotes Nicholas Carr, author of The Glass Cage, saying that lawyers will be usurped by algorithms - citing Lex Machina software (which predicts the outcome of patent lawsuits) as an early example. Kevin Kelly, 'senior maverick' at Wired Magazine, is quoted as saying: 'You'll be paid in future depending on how well you work with robots.' And Mr Keen adds that 'for every senior maverick' able to work with robots, 'there will be a legion of teachers, lawyers, accountants and diagnosticians whose "skills" will be increasingly redundant in the age of the intelligent machine.

Amazon robots

Amazon has promised investors that it would be 'employing' 10,000 robots this year and is experimenting with the use of drones to carry out deliveries. Source: Sunday Times