Back in May, I mentioned that ROSS Intelligence, based on IBM's Watson platform, had announced that Baker & Hostetler had agreed to license ROSS Intelligence's artificial intelligence legal research product, ROSS. The firm will use ROSS in its Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors' Rights team.
Later that month, The American Lawyer (sub. req.) reported that Latham & Watkins and Milwaukee-based von Briesen & Roper had announced that they too would be using ROSS. Latham will be using ROSS to streamline their research. von Briesen & Roper will be using ROSS in its bankruptcy practice.
As is customary, ROSS is not described as a "robot attorney" but as a complement to the firm attorneys which empowers them. I suspect that is currently quite true, but doubt that it will remain that way.
On June 15th, Legal Week announced that DLA Piper will use artificial intelligence technology by Kira Systems for due-diligence document review in mergers and acquisitions. Kira's software searches texts in contracts, then creates a summary and analysis. Jonathan Klein, chair of DLA Piper's U.S. mergers and acquisition practice, said that the technology will make due diligence faster and more efficient and will mitigate risk throughout the due diligence practice. He said, "We believe that this innovative technology will do for corporate transactional work what e-discovery has done for litigation."
DLA has already tried the software in its corporate, intellectual property and technology practices and found tangible improvements in speed and accuracy.
Cynic that I am, I have lots of company in believing that robots will effectively replace at least some lawyers in the not-too-distant future, a point of view shared by a story in Australia's Financial Review (sub. req.) which recently referred to this phenomenon in the legal industry. The story was, appropriately, titled "How to Stop a Robot From Taking Your Job."
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Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology