Updated: May 31, 2019
No. Perhaps if we had asked an AI tool to answer the question, that is the answer we would have received. Perhaps we would have received a “Yes”! Certainly you could receive an answer but you would not get a reasoned answer. Reasoning is anything but artificial.
There is a lot of buzz in the press about Artificial Intelligence. Many readers will have read about the success of DoNotPay, which has helped several people in the US and UK overturn parking fines. It works by asking users questions, interpreting the reply, and completing a form on behalf of the user. The illogical conclusion of such technology is that lawyers are disposable. But advances in technology should not automatically lead to a reduction in staff. As long ago as 1922, Henry Ford asked:
“For when are men really put out of work by the bettering of industrial processes? The stage-coach drivers lost their jobs with the coming of railways. Should we have prohibited the railways and kept the stage-coach drivers? ...every time you can so arrange that one man will do the work of two, you so add to the wealth of the country that there will be a new and better job for the man who is displaced. ...There are many times more men today employed in the steel industries than there were in the days when every operation was by hand. It has to be so. It always is so and always will be so. And if any man cannot see it, it is because he will not look beyond his own nose.”
If you’re still siding with newspaper headlines, read chapter 12 (‘Man and Machine’) of Peter Thiel’s ‘Zero to One’, in which he refers directly to the legal industry.
“Lawyers must be able to articulate solutions to thorny problems in several different ways – the pitch depends on whether you’re talking to a client, opposing counsel, or a judge...Computers might be able to do some of these tasks, but they can’t combine them effectively. Better technology in law, medicine and education won’t replace professionals; it will allow them to do even more.”
Panache Legal can help you do more.
Where can Artificial Intelligence help me now?
Consider those tasks that require little or no judgement. No weighing of options or applying a gut feeling to them. Any task which can be broken down into a series of simple-to-answer questions, can, in theory, be done with Artificial Intelligence.
Some of those tasks might include:
Managing CRM profiles;
Initial drafts of emails, engagement letters and documents;
Filing of documents, including at for example, the Court Service, HM Revenue & Customs, Companies House or the Land Registry;
Searching for data.
Is Artificial Intelligence an alternative to outsourcing?
Several large firms are looking at ways of outsourcing support and administrative functions to cheaper jurisdictions. Banks and telecoms companies did it years ago, and we all now see adverts about the advantages of bringing this support back on-shore.
Several things are sure with outsourcing: it’s time-consuming, expensive, and has teething problems. All too often outsourcing fails because of a decline in customer satisfaction, the result being that further cost is incurred insourcing all or some of the functions again. If you want to make savings and are considering outsourcing aspects such as your administrative functions, don’t do so without taking advice on how new technology utilising Artificial Intelligence can help you manage these functions more efficiently.
The Panache Legal Platform incorporates Artificial Intelligence at its core. With features like Panache Bot, our free AI legal secretary, many of the time-consuming, administrative tasks that lawyers perform during the day can be automated within the platform, freeing them up to do what lawyers do best.
Artificial Intelligence is a genuine alternative to outsourcing. Outsourcing your dictation, for example, might allow you to have letters and documents produced at a lower cost, but it does not result in more letters being produced without adding to the resource of the outsourced team. Using Artificial Intelligence allows you to not only reduce the cost but improves standards and allows more letters and documents to be produced by your existing resource.
Artificial Intelligence is not a replacement of your staff, but rather it is a tool that drives efficiencies within their work.
How can Artificial Intelligence help me in the future?
Panache Legal, with a combination of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, puts you on the front-foot. It will pre-empt and prepare legal work automatically, and with accuracy, such that you can simply approve that work. Why wait for clients to contact you about an expiring lease when Panache Legal could contact the client for you and automatically draft that new lease for review by you and your client?
Imagine your client being able to ask Panache Legal for an update on their matter. Your client gets their answer without disturbing you or your secretary.
Imagine leaving simple legal matters to your secretary to prepare using the drafting tips and hints you have built into Panache Legal, leaving you to simply approve documents, rather than having to write them yourself.
These are not matters for imagination. They are possible now, and Panache Software is leading the development of proper use of Artificial Intelligence in legal services.
If you want to get ahead of the competition, please contact us to help shape the future of legal services.