Robot Lawyers Are on the Horizon, But Will You Use Them?

Technology, especially artificial intelligence technology (AI), is a fast growing and exciting area that is generating a lot of debate.  AI is the theory that computers can be taught to think like humans, thereby allowing them to react to various situations without a specific program to address the issue the machine is faced with.  Prominent technology-minded individuals, such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, have taken positions that AI is a danger that needs to be avoided.  But, the wheels of progress keep on turning, and companies like NVIDIA and IBM continue to show how far along AI already is.

On June 18, 2018, IBM introduced to the world through a live event an AI machine (dubbed Project Debater) that debated a human.  Not just any human, but Israel’s top two debaters: Dan Zafrir and Noa Ovadia.  And the most shocking thing about it is that the polls conducted after the event indicated that many individuals found the machine to be more convincing than its human counterparts.

Moreover, the machine was not only able to spit out facts about the subject matter it was covering, but it was actually able to predict and respond to its opponents’ positions.  While Project Debater is still far from finished, this impressive display of adapting to potential arguments and varying issues is quite impressive. 

This leads one to wonder whether human lawyers will soon be replaced by robot lawyers that can think on their feet (perhaps not as well as a human, but well enough), access hundreds of thousands of documents and analyze them in seconds, and deliver compelling arguments to judges and juries.  Only time will tell how effective AI will become, but, for now, human lawyers are still the only option.  If you are in search of a human lawyer to answer a civil or criminal legal question, then please contact our firm to set up a consultation.

Mikhail N. Lopez
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Criminal Defense and General Civil Litigation Attorney
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