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AI: hype or help?

Artificial intelligence has already shown it can help streamline processes but it’s yet to change the way legal services are delivered – that’s the next challenge, says Sophie Brookes

14 May 2019

Technology, and its speed of change, was the key challenge identified by law firms in PwC’s Annual Law Firms Survey 2018. 

Artificial intelligence (AI), the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, is nothing new. 

In 1997 former world champion Garry Kasparov was beaten in a chess game by Deep Blue; in 2011 IBM’s Watson beat the two best human players of the game show Jeopardy; and in 2017 AlphaGo, a computer program trained to play the board game Go, beat the world’s best human player. 

But it’s not just the gaming world that is feeling the impact of AI. Could it be that the machines are really taking over? 

AI has existed in law firms for years but without the catchy acronym. Many time recording tools use AI to capture and record a lawyer’s activities, even interrogating the lawyer’s desktop and telephone footprint to identify the files she’s been working on.

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