Peer to Peer Magazine

Fall 2019

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/1172342

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42 The AI Hype Cycle in Full Swing B Y B R A D B L I C K S T E I N "Artificial intelligence-powered legal technolo" is not a phrase many industry veterans ever thought they'd hear. Lawyering is, by nature, a human endeavor, and the conventional wisdom has always been that knowledge and experience are paramount. This thinking even pervaded the areas of the law which could clearly benefit, such as e-discovery document review. In fact, for years many providers actually deployed AI- based tools but wouldn't call it AI. Instead, the term was "predictive coding." Sometime around 2016-2017, the collective thinking changed—and very quickly. Rather than shunning even the notion of using these tools, many law firms and corporate law departments decided they needed an "AI strate," ignoring the time-honored tradition of first identifying problems and then finding ways to solve them. Feeling the pressure to somehow respond to requests to be more efficient and cost-effective, law firms especially have taken this approach. Technolo providers have seen the opportunity and started marketing AI at the expense of common sense. One great example of marketing language we pervasively see, in this case on a trade show booth: "Revolutionizing the Legal Landscape with Machine Learning AI-Enabled Platform." There is no mention of what the tool actually does. Yes, the hype cycle is in full swing. Put more simply by Suresh Pillai, senior corporate counsel at Astellas Pharma: "Everyone wants to get into AI, but no one knows what it can do." Over the course of the six months we spent doing research for the Legal AI Efficacy Report, I learned these tools have less in common than one might think. For starters, they are designed to help different people solve different problems. Most use natural language processing and/or machine learning, but they apply these technologies in different ways. Some use unsupervised learning models; some require extensive training by the user. Some are deployed on premise; most are in the cloud. The AI story may be hype-ridden right now, but as the technolo gains wider adoption it will change the way legal services are delivered and inevitably take jobs from lawyers.

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