Showing posts with label #DigitalTransformation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #DigitalTransformation. Show all posts

Thursday, June 8, 2023

AI and Legal Practice: The Cloud's Impact on the Ground.

"Technology, Hands, Agreement."
© 2023 PXFuel.
Free for Commercial Use.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to evolve within the expansive cloud of technology, its impact is becoming increasingly evident in traditionally conservative fields such as the legal profession. The transformative power of AI, much like the influence of air and naval strategies in the historical context, is reshaping the ground realities of the profession, underlining the importance of the events happening "in the cloud".

In a June 6, 2023 Economist article, AI is portrayed as a tool with the potential to fundamentally alter the workings of law firms and the practice of law. Similar to how tactical decisions made at sea or in the air during World War II, as explained by Victor Davis Hanson, mattered because they could drastically affect the outcomes on the ground, the AI developments "in the cloud" are influencing the strategies and operations on the ground level in the legal field.

Today's legal profession, shaped by its current challenges and advancements, provides the context for its future evolution. A recent Goldman Sachs report suggests that up to 44% of legal tasks could be automated by AI, indicating a profound shift set to redefine traditional practices. However, the integration of AI into the legal field also brings challenges. There are concerns about AI's ability to convincingly present falsehoods and the critical need to safeguard sensitive attorney-client privileged information.

In charting the future of the legal profession, the concept of a Markov Chain offers a useful analogy: the state of the system at a given moment (the "present state") heavily influences what will happen next, while prior states (the "past") hold little sway. As AI continues to evolve and exert influence over diverse sectors, this idea becomes especially relevant to the legal field. The power of AI to address contemporary challenges should be the guiding force shaping the profession's future, rather than lingering attachments to historical practices.

The transformative potential of AI has been established. However, its integration into the legal field isn't merely about introducing a new tool or streamlining existing processes. It's about leveraging AI's capabilities to address the unique and complex issues that the profession currently confronts and will confront in the future. The legal profession is an evolving system of conflict mediation, contract review, policy formulation, and, ultimately, a facilitator of organic social life. The role of AI in this context isn't just to automate tasks but to enhance the profession's capacity to perform these functions more effectively and efficiently.

As the profession grapples with AI integration, it's critical to remember that AI isn't an end but a means to an end. The goal isn't to mold the profession according to what AI can do, but rather, to harness AI in service of the profession's purpose. This doesn't mean discarding the past entirely. Indeed, the principles that have defined the profession, such as justice, fairness, and adherence to the law, remain essential. They must guide the profession's AI journey, ensuring that AI is used in ways that amplify these principles rather than undermine them.

To navigate this journey successfully, the legal field must recognize that its present state is the most relevant factor for determining its future. Rather than clinging to past practices or fearing the future, the profession should focus on addressing its current challenges using the best tools available, which now include AI. In doing so, the profession can ensure that it not only survives but thrives in an AI-enhanced future, effectively serving society while staying true to its core principles.