Those who downloaded our Law Made Easy! series of apps would have received an announcement in previous days, regarding artificial intelligence in law. For those who have not downloaded them (we encourage you do), we have reproduced the thought-provoking question and discussion here: can artificial intelligence (AI) be useful for lawyers in the future?
AI seems to be a growing trend in recent years. As recently as 2017, Facebook was reported to have shut down their AI because they were beginning to have a mind of its own and creating their own language. In the year 2019, Mr. Rafizi Ramli, a politician from the People's Justice Party in Malaysia, created a free AI platform - called Adnexio - in an attempt to address the rising rate of unemployment and help employees to connect with potential employers.
A week ago, we came across an offer on the internet regarding a seminar that discusses the possibility of AI being used in contract law. This has prompted us to ask and question whether there is a future for AI in law. As amazing as it sounds, is it possible? If it is, would it be practicable? These are but a few of the preliminary questions hitherto posed. Law is a problem-solving entity, so AI must be able to mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving".
To analyze those preliminary questions, perhaps we must first find out how extensive this AI would be. To say that it can replace lawyers is probably too far-fetched, especially with regards to criminal law, where there is a risk of wrongful conviction. But how about smaller things, such as case management? How about the drafting of sale and purchase agreements? Resolving alternative dispute resolution? There is certainly a balance that must be achieved.
Recent developments in AI technology have transcended countless boundaries.
Now to an ethical question: should it be encouraged? Our answer to this is "it depends" (we know that it is a very lawyer-like answer). In criminal law, we find that this is best avoided as the human touch is necessary to prevent the perversion of justice, but on other subjects, such as contract, perhaps it may prove to be useful and even revolutionary to have AI handling some of the simpler things that lawyers are too often swamped with.
As diligent students who will shape the future of law, we hope you give this some thought. Who knows, one of you may be able to crack the code and create an incredible AI that can truly lighten the load on lawyers.
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Till next time.