Unleashing the Potential of AI and Human Teams in the Legal Space
We’re hearing a lot of talk in the tech world about how artificial intelligence (AI) will change the way we work. Inevitably, conversations broach the possibility that AI will displace humans in the workplace. Some even estimate that automation and AI will replace as many as 800 million jobs over the next 13 years.
But most of the conversations taking place around AI don’t take into account the potential of AI and humans working together. It’s worth noting because this pairing is already reshaping the way we approach common tasks across the business world, including within the legal industry.
How can humans and AI work together?
For certain tasks, the marriage of people and AI can accomplish more than either humans or machines are able to accomplish separately. Rather than replacing living, breathing workers, embracing both means recognizing that AI and humans complement each other in ways that go far beyond the processes most organizations currently rely on to achieve their goals.
Nearly all industries recognize that artificial intelligence is coming and will be a part of how they do their work. While the extent to which specific industries and even organizations will rely on AI varies, there’s a growing consensus that people will continue to remain an important part of the equation.
To understand humans’ evolving role, we need to remember that AI and humans offer different skill sets to the organization. While it’s possible to apply AI to certain tasks, others are difficult or impossible to apply it to. These tasks require human intervention simply because humans are better at accomplishing them. This is especially true for specialized tasks and processes that fall beyond the parameters of AI technology.
Salesforce recently offered a good example of how the AI-human relationship plays out in the real world. Over the past few decades, the U.S. Postal Service automated 99 percent of its processes. But while that seems like a lot (and it is), 1 percent of postal processes still require humans to accurately sort the mail. With more than 500 million pieces of mail passing through USPS’ doors each day, that means 5 million mailed items a day would be undeliverable without human employees.
Embracing the union of manpower and AI power works in a similar way. While AI dramatically improves the organization’s ability to handle routine tasks, humans continue to play a vital role in achieving key objectives. In many cases, AI improves our ability to achieve those objectives accurately and efficiently.
AI-human teams change the game in legal tech
Legal tech is an ideal candidate for the teaming up of humans and AI. Why? Because a significant percentage of legal work involves routine tasks that still demand the attention of specialized attorneys.
Consider NDAs. Most large companies negotiate these routine legal documents at the onset of a significant transaction. These documents need to be completed quickly and effectively, and an experienced, specialized attorney as well as AI each have an appropriate role in that process. But in a typical scenario, the company turns to internal resources or a Big Law firm for assistance—both of which can be costly in their own right.
For years, standard procedure for abstracting documents has involved humans taking the whole process on themselves—a process which has functioned just fine. But InCloudCounsel’s document abstracting process for routine legal work combines highly experienced, specialist attorneys and AI to deliver an even more efficient process and higher quality end result.
While InCloudCounsel attorneys handle the negotiating of an agreement, they are assisted by AI when abstracting the key terms of an agreement onto an easy to reference summary called a “scorecard.” AI helps verify the accuracy of the key terms by checking them against the provisions in the actual contract, reducing the risk for human error. The attorney saves time by harnessing AI to efficiently deliver a highly accurate product. As a result, clients can count on improved efficiency, accuracy and overall higher quality of output.
AI is already changing legal tech in important ways. But more often than not, we’ll find that the best use of the technology involves the winning combination of AI with the specialized expertise of actual attorneys.