Institutionnel | 01.07.2019

L'UIA crée un groupe de travail sur la technologie

The greatest transformation on the practice of law– the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it is being called – will be the rise of “Artificial Intelligence.” It is becoming increasingly clear that law firms must have a clear strategy for dealing with these changes now if they want to remain competitive and ensure they attract the best talent to support their business. This statement equally applies to commerce in general, and companies of all kinds must have a clear strategy for dealing with technological changes now if they want to remain competitive.

Increasingly, the practice of law is merging across all jurisdictions, because of the influence of technology. Technology developments, and their impact, are creating a fundamental, and exciting change to the future of the legal profession.

With the goal of helping the membership better understand and plan for the impact of technology on the practice of law, the UIA, in collaboration with its partner LexisNexis, has recently established a Technology Task Force. The objectives of the Task Force are to measure (over the next five years) the “adoption” (and the fear/understanding) of new technology (especially Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and analytical tools), and identify programs/initiatives to assist meeting the challenges in activity/organization/business models and so forth.

What do we mean by Artificial Intelligence? It is an expression that is easily confused. A leading test of “What is Artificial Intelligence” was introduced by Professor Alan Turing in his paper, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence", in 1950. To paraphrase, the Turing Test was basically “Could a computer imitate a human to such a degree that a human would not be able to tell whether they were engaging with a machine or a human?” The test did not involve specific technology; machine learning, analytics, natural language processing, neural nets and the like. It is entirely focused on the end user experience.

There are many different types of computer activity which commonly get collected together as Artificial Intelligence. To create genuine Artificial Intelligence, however, several elements may be required and combined. One component is “Machine Learning”; where the machine learns by doing. It gets better at performing a specific task by applying algorithms to constantly assess which activities work better and discarding those that don't. That makes it possible to start using statistical analysis to identify patterns in the user's data to use those patterns to predict what is going to be most useful. Most commonly, this is already used in Search Engines.

Artificial Intelligence supports professionals to learn, think and perform better; analytics and machine learning are revolutionizing insight; and platforms are disrupting traditional business models by bringing buyers and suppliers together.

In a world where billing for time has gone, billing for value will be required. The business model will have to change, and will be forced to do so, as technology comes along an replaces a lot of work which was previously done by a human. We are already seeing this, discovery, document analysis, textual analysis

of judgements, statistical analysis of judgements to predict a decision, time recording and billing and many more.

The Task Force is currently developing a brief survey – your input will be crucial to assist in our efforts to help the membership understand and plan for the impact of technology on the practice of law. 

by Nigel Roberts