Among the numerous potential fields of application for artificial intelligence (AI), here is a new one: law. Twenty lawyers have just been thrashed by AI in a contract revision challenge. The defeat was well accepted by the losers, who feel that using artificial intelligence in the legal industry would allow lawyers to offload a certain number of mundane tasks and focus on more important jobs.
As part of a recent study into the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal industry, twenty top lawyers were put in direct competition with an AI. The challenge involved identifying textual problems in five non-divulgation agreements, a contract used in most commercial transactions. The AI, named LawGeex, achieved an average accuracy rate of 94% – a score much higher than the lawyers achieved with 85%, reported website Développez.com. It only took LawGeex 26 seconds to complete the task, compared with the 92 minutes it took the lawyers.
The lawyers welcome this potential
After the test, some of the lawyers who took part in the experiment said they were in favour of using AI in the legal field. They believe that, by automating the drafting and revision of agreements as well as other routine tasks, the clients would pay less and the lawyers would be able to focus on more complex projects.
“Participating in this experiment really opened my eyes to how ridiculous it is for attorneys to spend their time (as well as their clients’ money) creating or reviewing documents like NDAs which are so fundamentally similar to one another,” said Grant Gulovsen, a lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience. “Having a tool that could automate this process would free up skilled attorneys to spend their time on higher-level tasks without having to hire paralegal support.”
Further tests are required
“There should be standard contract templates or clauses integrated into the software database that flag any discrepancies within the documents for reviews based on the purpose of the contract,” says Deja Colbert, a contracts administrator for Omega Rail Management. “Although contracts can be very similar to one another, they all have their own specific purpose, which calls for attention to detail on the use of tags. I find AI logical and credible for the purpose of reducing contract review time, thus allowing lawyers to prioritise other time-consuming tasks.”
Though she is convinced that AI holds great potential in the legal field, Samantha Javier, a graduate of the Lewis & Clark Law School, believes that the tests and the artificial intelligence technology need to be more thorough in order to accomplish this role. Despite this promise, professional clients might well prefer to have a human law specialist taking care of their business.
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