WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Today we have contracts for everything it seems, and on top of that lawyers are expensive, and not everyone has access to them, Robo-Lawyer AI’s are helping democratise law and change that paradigm.
Lawyers are pretty good at law-related activities, after all, it’s their job, but for at least one of those activities, lawyers, it seems, might soon have to be satisfied with being second best after a recent document analysing competition, that pitted lawyers against Artificial Intelligence (AI), which, yes, was as exciting as it sounds, ended with the AI as the clear winner. The AI in question was one I’ve discussed before from an Israeli company called LawGeex who, after a new $7million funding round, have spent the past year or so training their AI to read and interpret a range of complex legal documents.
During the competition LawGeex’s AI platform didn’t get an easy ride though, it was pitted against law professors from none other than Duke University, Stanford University and the University of Southern California in a competition to read and interpret a collection of five Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s).
Both the humans and the AI were given four hours to read the contracts and identify over 30 legal terms and issues, including arbitration and confidentiality agreements and both were scored on the accuracy of their assessments.
While the human lawyers managed a respectable 85 percent success rate, they were outperformed by the AI, which managed a full 10 percentage points better. Even more impressively though the puny human lawyers averaged 92 minutes to analyse the contracts, the AI did it in only 26 seconds.
“This research shows technology can help solve two problems – both making contract management faster and more reliable, and freeing up resources so legal departments can focus on building the quality of their human legal teams,” said Gillian Hadfield, one of the lawyers who participated in the competition.
This doesn’t mean that lawyers will be out of a job soon, of course, but as “lawyer” AI’s, such as the ones from ROSS Intelligence, and LISA, as well as the now famous DoNotPay lawyer bot, continue to improve, and as companies including the world’s largest law firm, Dentons, who recently used ROSS to replace their paralegal teams, and JP Morgan, who recently saved over 368,000 hours of legal time using their own in house AI platform, continue to adopt them, lawyers would be wise to sit up and pay attention to what’s happening around them.
As for the rest of us, well, the other effect these new platforms will have is the continued democratisation of access to cheap and affordable legal services, something that, ironically, is the driving force that’s inspiring many of the founders of these companies to take on and, for want of a better word, modernise, one of the world’s oldest professions in the first place.