by Emily Foges, CEO of Luminance

In 2017, artificial intelligence in the legal profession truly came of age. This makes it a hugely exciting time to be innovating in the sector.

We are seeing a trend whereby the barriers to entry for lawyers to deploy AI in the legal industry are significantly lower. In the past, legal AI platforms have used bespoke solutions to assist lawyers in the complex field of due diligence.

Looking ahead, because true AI adapts and learns as you use it, lengthy deployments and training periods will no longer be a requirement. I expect to see an even greater appetite for the technology as individuals and firms gain confidence in its ability to accelerate their insight.

With this new generation of machine learning that can understand in a similar way to the human brain, we will also see an increase in popularity of technology that is language agnostic. This will allow legal AI platforms to be used around the world to recognise legal concepts in multiple languages, so lawyers can dedicate more time to advising clients and higher value activities.

The key challenge I see in the future is challenging the notion of ‘accuracy’, which should never be applicable in the legal profession, where a lawyer’s judgment is key. With the risk of missing important contractual details inherent in any due diligence process, manual or otherwise, I think we will see an even greater appetite for AI technology that does not replace the role of the lawyer, but speeds up the review process to give lawyers more ‘thinking time’.

A further challenge I see ahead is, as with any innovation, securing buy-in from across an entire law firm. Many lawyers still view AI as no more than a marketing buzzword which is something we as an industry have to get better at tackling.

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