The legal industry has a reputation for being conservative and could be identified as an industry that has not evolved with technology in a global context. Nevertheless, technological breakthroughs and novel innovations related to the industry has always been there and it is only a matter of time until the world will expect lawyers and the justice system at large to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
One of the latest developments in the world of tech is Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). As opposed to Discriminative Artificial Intelligence where information is divided into classes by setting out boundaries, Generative AI produces or creates content according to the textual inputs implying intentions (also known as prompts). Simply put, people can now not only search for information on the internet but also receive human like responses with guidance and frameworks set out to complete tasks. The most popular applications are ChatGPT by OpenAI and Bing Chat by Microsoft.
The age of internet brought about the heavy use of search engines like Google and Yahoo which use key words of a search to provide items in a database that corresponds. Generative AI on the other hand provides the most appropriate answer based on the prompt. However, the user should verify whether the answer is factual. This will enable users to brainstorm ideas and solve issues that are highly technical in nature.
A task similar to finding a needle in a haystack, legal research on loads of cases and concepts can now be handed over to Generative AI. Since AI can analyze cases and statutes within milliseconds, targeted information can be derived swiftly. Furthermore, these AI models learn each time they operate on a task and thereby increasing its accuracy over time and use.
Contracts, briefs, motions, petitions and almost anything that needs drafting is now within the orbit of Generative AI. Once a prompt is entered implying the requirements of a client, a comprehensive draft can be obtained within seconds. If the drafter is unsatisfied with the outcome, the answer can be regenerated over and over again whilst tweaking the prompt to achieve perfection.
Small and mid-sized law firms require the administrative aspect of the operation to be as smooth as possible since the number of man power is less in comparison to large scale law firms. Generative AI can now be integrated into E -mails, Chatbots and Websites. This way, mundane and repetitive tasks like informing court dates, payment reminders and setting up consultations can now be automated.
If a client or a lawyer needs to find out the strength of a case or claim, they can use Generative AI to predict the outcomes by analyzing past cases with similar facts. And thereby create effective strategies to increase the potential to win a case. As cases and their outcomes are published on the internet, the volume and depth of analysis will increase over time.
One must understand that Generative AI is not an ‘all- seeing all- knowing’ power. Its application is good as the amount of data and research that is out there in the internet and most importantly the answers of Generative AI are guided by the user who enters the prompt. In other words, the answer is only good as the prompt which frames and guides the AI to provide an answer.
By Nadupa Jayakody