AI in Business Law

Posted by Dominic Molendyke.

Artificial Intelligence has taken over and had an impact on almost all professions and industries. Some more than others, obviously, but looking into law it is really interesting to see its profound effects and to see where it is headed. We see a new revolution taking place before our eyes as the last (Industrial revolution) replaced real hard manual labor and simple things muscle would take care of, this new one replaces decision making and other mental tasks that at one point people thought were safe from being replicated by machines. In the law world, AI has helped streamline a lot of busywork that allows real attorneys to be not only more efficient but more accurate as well as these machines and programs are designed to catch these.

Now, attorneys are not getting fully replaced just yet, as being able to understand the rationale behind AI-derived decisions has not yet been accomplished and would need to be before we start using AI in specific legal contexts. But as of now with what use we do have of AI in the legal world, it has made some attorneys and lawyers superhuman almost. With new startups using services based on AI, we see contracts being reviewed faster and even more accurately than what human lawyers can do. Another part of law AI has affected is conducting legal research with new keyword lookups. It is no longer looking to match words to keywords but rather truly understand the meaning of the words and match them to the large databases attached to them.

What is really cool and different about AI in the legal world compared to others such as the car industry, is the fact a simple mistake by the AI doesn’t result in an injury or have fatal consequences. Rather though, it can show new creative ways to approach things that humans have not yet figured out or thought of using. This leads to shortcuts on many things such as games, cures, or as simple as a new way to express an idea.  But this is also why we can’t fully trust AI as its results or how it gets its results may not be right and could be getting wrong with poor programming or lack of at least. We see this really come into play when deciding legal outcomes and whether people are comfortable with trusting a computer to decide their fate or others. But still, it is slowly and surely being incorporated with advising judges on bail and sentencing decisions.

Dominic is a sophomore, business major (undecided), Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University.