While many technologists envision a world where artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) handle the majority of work for us, we’re not yet at the point where we can sit on a beach while software handles our business. But AI and ML are rapidly evolving, augmenting human input. Law firms, corporate legal teams, and the public sector are seeing AI and ML free their people to focus on higher-value work, including advising clients and solving complex business challenges.
Notes Mike Haven, Head of Legal Operations at Intel and President of CLOC:
"The market has found a way to improve efficiency in these environments through automation solutions that allow users to connect the dots and remove from the plates of legal professionals painful, manual, routine tasks that are more quickly and effectively accomplished by a machine. … And the improved processes can be measured — in terms of cycle time, resource time, and cost, for example — and benchmarked against the manual processes of yesterday to demonstrate dramatic efficiency gains and savings."
AI is now being used to identify privileged documents in massive document volumes and to provide analyses to inform litigation strategies. Organizations are also implementing AI and ML to automate and accelerate the workflows that are at the heart of their business processes — project management, communication, knowledge management, and collaboration.
While it’s taken several years for artificial intelligence and machine learning to mature, the technology is well on its way to establishing itself as core to predictive analytics and process automation.
Thompson Reuters makes this bold prediction: “Within the next few years, we will find ourselves on the cusp of a revolution in the practice of law led by the adoption of artificial intelligence — in particular, by in-house lawyers. Much like email changed the way we do business every day, AI will become ubiquitous — an indispensable assistant to practically every lawyer. Those that do not adopt and embrace the change will get left behind. Those that do will ultimately find themselves freed up to do the two things there always seems to be too little time for: thinking and advising.”
There’s no need to wait for the AI and ML revolution that Thompson Reuters describes. Let’s explore four impactful ways that law firms, in-house legal teams, and the public sector are using AI and ML today.
"The secret component to successful AI and ML is that people need to intervene to improve the machine’s results and outputs. This is where the push for STEM education is going to pay dividends: You need smart people to create the machines and to figure out what to do with them."
— Thom Wisinski, Chief Knowledge Officer at Haynes and Boone, LLP
As law firms, corporate legal teams, and the public sector build out their technology stacks, it’s crucial to keep the future in mind. Ideally, organizations will move to cloud-native solutions that set them up for easier implementation of data-driven technologies. Additionally, these teams should seek out software solutions that easily integrate with the tools they need to implement and experience the efficiencies gained by AI and ML.
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