We now live in a world where humans can teach and train computers to behave in ways that never would have seemed possible a few decades ago. Further, technology has advanced so far that machines can perform some of the same functions as the human mind. Known as cognitive computing or artificial intelligence (AI), this technology has become prominent in many fields of business, including the legal industry.

How has AI entered the legal universe?

When an organisation is involved in legal proceedings, it is often necessary to employ an abundance of resources. While attorneys may be sceptical about using AI tools, they are beneficial in numerous respects. Organisations can decrease manpower spent on time-consuming litigation tasks, promote efficiency and reduce costs by utilising AI platforms.

Attorneys frequently use technology assisted review (TAR) software to perform litigation analysis. While TAR can refer to a number of different document review and classification programmes, it is often interchanged with the term ‘predictive coding’. TAR software is appealing because it is trained to make connections between data in the same manner a legal professional would. Because of this, human interaction is needed at the outset in order for TAR software to be successful and serve its intended purpose. The software is trained by knowledgeable users to determine what information is relevant to a certain inquiry. The user reviews the results and tells the system whether it yielded any irrelevant data. The system will then retain what it is taught and will be able to identify data patterns and relevant concepts in future inquiries. This innovative software goes way beyond the keyword search function that many programmes have been using for years.

Oct-Dec 2018 issue