Day after day, headlines roll out informing lawyers robots will take over the profession. “Artificial intelligence will put you out of business,” we are told. But, what if I told you that robot lawyers and human lawyers are batting for the same team to increase access to justice? Some recent advancements might prove my point.
Earlier this year, the first legal chatbot made its debut. Since then, more have popped up across the globe, many of which, were created to team up with legal professionals.
One of the more intriguing ones we’ve seen here at the Commission on Professionalism is called LawBot. LawBot helps users understand if they have a legal problem, then directly points them toward help.
The brainchild of four Cambridge students, LawBot walks users through a number of predetermined questions to identify if they have suffered a crime in England or Wales. Some of the criminal offenses the chatbot can recognize are sexual harassment, violent assaults, property crimes, and 23 other violations of the law.
The chatbot also utilizes machine learning to develop its ability to empathize with its users and better understand and respond to a range of human emotion.
Chatbots are only one of a number of exciting legal technology innovations that we have seen this year. Want another? How about a form of artificial intelligence that can actually predict trial results.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and two other UK universities are making headway on a new innovation that creates machine learning algorithms that analyze patterns in case text to determine judicial decisions before a trial begins. At this time, the AI has an 80% accuracy rate.
Like LawBot, this form of technology was not created to be monetized. This predictive artificial intelligence was created to prioritize cases and identify violations of treaties, like the European Convention on Human Rights.
As we’ve said, time and time again, collaboration is essential to succeed in future law. Adopting a new mindset, joining forces with those outside of the profession, and incorporating legal technology into law practice can bring us that much closer to closing the access to justice gap.
Thanks to these innovations and many more coming out of the woodworks, the future looks bright for the legal profession and those in need of legal help.