Your New Robot Colleague

robot-1241845-1600x1600Inside the legal industry we often complain about the glacial pace of change. However, sometimes change can sneak up on you unaware — even in the legal industry.

The topic of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in the practice of law is one many of us had considered long before the advent of IBM’s Watson. However, while we could imagine the usefulness of AI in a legal practice, we were not sure where, how or when we might see it in reality.

Well we now have an answer to the question of when. A September 22 press release made this announcement:

RAVN Systems, experts in Enterprise Search, Unstructured Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Knowledge Management solutions, announced today that international law firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), is implementing the company’s Artificial Intelligence platform, known as the RAVN Applied Cognitive Engine (RAVN ACE).

But that’s not all. Not only do we have AI in action, but it is now in the form of a new member of the team: a contract robot. This contract robot works in BLP’s real estate practice. Its job is “to extract data from standard legal documents, cross-check the data internally, check it against external sources, and write the output into a spreadsheet, ready for the next stage of the process.” Sounds like a terrific junior associate.

Here’s how Matthew Whalley, Head of Legal Risk Consultancy at BLP, describes that new team member:

The robot has fast become a key member of the team. It delivers perfect results every time we use it. Team morale and productivity has benefited hugely, and I expect us to create a cadre of contract robots throughout the firm. If the reaction to our first application is any indication, we will be leading the implementation of AI in the Law for some time to come.

So here we are. The robot is real. The next question is: how will your life change with the arrival of your new robot colleague? If you believe there will be no change at all, watch out. Your new colleague is about to prove you wrong.

[Photo Credit: Cecile Graat]

 

Share