Much has been written about predictions that lawyers will lose their jobs to Artificial Intelligence (AI). At OpenText™, we approach it much more from the perspective that AI will automate tasks that aren’t well suited to high-priced lawyers – and will allow them to focus on more value added (revenue generating) activities that require their human expertise.
Several use cases are emerging
Law firms are approaching AI from a lot of different perspectives. With documents at the heart of any legal firm’s practice, OpenText is seeing that many firms are taking a document-centric approach to AI. Indeed, lawyers even speak of their documents, emails and related files as “work product,” which emphasizes how central managing content can be to the successful practice of law.
For so many matters at law firms, considerable time is spent just locating and processing documents. For that reason, AI can generate tremendous gains simply by enabling lawyers to quickly find seemingly unfindable information to do their job better.
As an example, OpenText eDOCS customers are using OpenText Decisiv to locate the right documents quickly. Unsupervised machine learning technology analyzes the underlying text, weighting content and identifying conceptual themes without any human intervention. This technology can then help lawyers retrieve valuable information from their documents and work product, even without knowing precisely what terms to search for.
Soon, supervised machine learning will further help lawyers rapidly access relevant content. As users identify useful documents, they can “pin” those results for future access, training the system to proactively suggest other likely helpful documents. The user can then confirm or reject the suggested documents as relevant, further refining the system’s accuracy and customizing the results.
Also, “predictive email filing,” included in solutions like OpenText eDOCS, leverages AI to automatically categorize and file emails for better work product management and access.
Down the road
Perhaps a bit further out, we can expect more transformational initiatives whereby AI algorithms are combined with process automation, content management systems and other industry information sources, to greatly change how certain cases are tackled.
For example, law firms are starting to envision scenarios such as:
- An AI algorithm detects something about a document. That condition automatically triggers the right process to look at the relevant case law or legislation – and makes a recommendation to the lawyer.
- Perhaps the system also takes care of some of the mundane work they would’ve needed to do manually (e.g. partially completing a legal document) and speeds up the process.
- Even better, this rigor can also improve the outcome of the case by bringing knowledge to the lawyer that they wouldn’t have had with the old process.
The legal industry is rightly interested in how AI will transform their business. OpenText encourages these firms to not be mystified by the topic – but rather pursue technology initiatives that automates tasks and enables lawyers to make the best use of their unique human expertise.
Technologies for better managing your documents and work product are a great place to start. Visit our microsite to learn more.