Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lawyers Comment on Artificial Intelligence in Law Practice

ROSS is a new artificial intelligence software. According to its publicity:

[A]rtificial intelligence is a “system that is able to perform different tasks that you would normally think would require human intelligence.”

While traditional databases yield search results based on the keywords and phrases users input, ROSS does more than identify documents containing specific words. It understands and interprets questions, finds relevant law, and articulates an answer. It even evolves from user feedback.

“The system understands you. It is understanding the intent of your question, and because it understands you, it can continue to get smarter and improve,” [company CEO] Arruda said. “You are no longer working with a static piece of software. It is dynamic. It’s changing, and every time you log into ROSS, it’s smarter than the day before.”

ROSS is commercially available for bankruptcy practices and it will eventually be available for other fields of law.

In the Akron Legal News, lawyers comment on ROSS and artificial intelligence software systems generally:

Justin Alaburda, a partner at Brennan, Manna & Diamond’s Akron office, said that he would consider using artificially intelligent software so long as it performed as well as a human.

“Artificial intelligence is already used for electronic discovery and studies show that in the area of document review, the error rate of human review is higher than reviews performed by a software program that uses predictive coding,” he said. “I admit, however, that when it comes to legal research, my confidence level in the artificially intelligent software would have to be extremely high before I would be comfortable relying heavily on the software.”

James E. “Ted” Roberts, a partner at Roth, Blair, Roberts, Stratsfield & Lodge in Youngstown, said that there are likely limitations on what artificial intelligence can provide for a lawyer. He said it might be difficult to convey the nuance of a case’s facts to a machine and that a lawyer will be needed to apply these facts to law.

“Besides getting the facts of the research, applying those facts then becomes a matter of judgment and opinion and that’s where the lawyer’s education and experience comes in,” Roberts said. “Mechanically, some software can obtain some research, but then it’s going to take the lawyer to interpret it and apply it.”

But Alaburda said that the practice of law will always involve human judgment.

“While technology in the legal profession is continuously improving and evolving, I believe that it is best used in connection with, and not as a substitute for, human judgement,” Alaburda said.

You can read more here.


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