A View from ILTACON: Truths and Legends of AI and Automation in the Law

Christiane Müller-Haye, our Director Continental Europe, shares her thoughts from ILTACON:



The legal technology industry is currently immersed in one of its premier events of the year, the International Legal Technology Association Conference (ILTACON). The highly regarded and anticipated event started on 14 August in Las Vegas and boasts four major keynotes, nearly 200 peer-based educational sessions with over 350 speakers, and an exhibit hall featuring hundreds of software vendors to the legal market (including Phoenix!).

It will come as little surprise to many that AI, which in the legal world takes the shape of machine learning and natural language processing, has been hotly debated during a three-part series, “Artificial Intelligence in Law.” Experts have not only discussed how AI is being used to leverage data, automate legal work, reduce costs and enhance efficiencies, but also what it takes to implement AI initiatives in legal departments and law firms.

In our legal industry, AI has so far met with either dread, incredulity, or unreasonable enthusiasm. However, are any of those reactions warranted?

In certain industries, AI is no longer frontline, but this hasn’t stopped many law firms from starting to take it on or embrace it. With pressure coming from corporate legal departments to not only improve efficiencies and save money, but to also be more technologically advanced, credible AI technologies can be an attractive opportunity for firms to create more business value, and make their jobs easier.

Legal departments and law firms will differ in which way they decide to take on board AI-based technologies, but the reality is most law firms don’t yet have sophisticated AI policies.

AI is just starting to blossom as a trend and some early adopters will start to show the way for sure.

The message I am taking home from today is that the legal industry should reflect on AI as ‘amplified intelligence’; something that permits lawyers and their clients to better understand and process data and information to make smarter, more effective decisions – but that doesn’t aim to replace humans with an army of legal robots.

Article written by Christiane Mueller-Haye

Regional Director, Continental Europe

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