Legal practitioners are believed to be traditional_
Litigation is an ancient art wherein battles are succeeded in courtrooms using seasoned and proven tools of arguments that have been exploited for centuries. Even the popular expressions “bench” and the “bar” are metonyms denoting “judge” and the “barristers”, which carry dense historical references, as judges who formerly sat on long seats or benches when presiding over a court.
A discussion on artificial intelligence to legal practitioners is a challenging subject, as it can either be fascinating, or revolting to those who are not adept in the use of technology and computers.
Artificial intelligence may be linked to innumerable expanses in the legal field. It can transcend from being a mere “aid” or “tool” in the legal practice, to more complex and ambitious concept on “smart contracts”.
Artificial intelligence now_
Quoting from established source,
“Artificial Intelligence is (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction.” https://searchenterpriseai.techtarget.com/definition/AI-Artificial-Intelligence
What makes AI groundbreaking compared to basic computer processes is its ability to learn.
Such cognitive ability unique to organisms breaks the glass ceiling between the inanimate computers and the living-breathing entities. Artificial intelligence not only triumphs the memory element, but has reached a more superior realm on learning, reasoning and self-correction.
Use of AI in the legal field_
Fascination to the world on computers juxtapose the steadfast faithfulness of the legal practitioners to most familiar methods in the profession, is a reason why few embraced possibilities brought by artificial intelligence.
Aside from moral or ethical probes, legal field is an arena that finds haven in consistency and the almost eternal state of definiteness.
Regardless, AI need should not be received with reluctance.
LIKE PROVEN TOOLS IN TRIAL, AI CAN BE A LAWYER’S BEST FRIEND, PARTICULARLY WHEN REFLECTING AI AS ALTERNATIVE “TOOL” OR “AID” IN THE LEGAL FIELD.
AI and Contract Review_
Legal practitioners are flooded with piles of documents for review. And because reviewing contracts and drafting are common, a human brain may miss points when perceived as not important. Human error is an added concern.
To avoid these conundrums, AI is an impressive and powerful tool.
Unfazed by conservative views, three (3) years ago, CRESCO Legal embarked in the use of artificial intelligence. This is therefor not a pure scholarly writing, of theories and opinions, but a system that worked and has been a daily occurrence in the legal firm set-up.
Luminance uses AI technology. The AI’s ability to learn is revolutionary when it comes to contract review. Developed by the University of Cambridge, Luminance provided superior acumen in the review of contracts – which is unprecedented and efficient.
The daunting task of reviewing piles of contracts helps a lawyer navigate through a seeming maze of contract provisions. Luminance is capable of reading thousands of contracts and allows the user to give a bird’s eye-view.
An AI’s ability to learn is better displayed by Luminance power to read through provisions, which subsequently becomes more efficient when additional contracts are uploaded. This means that, the more documents are uploaded, the more Luminance identifies specific stipulations.
My most favorite abilities of Luminance:
Luminance is proven helpful. Luminance will read through contracts uploaded in the system, and shall side by side compare contracts. Any diversion or departure from common stipulations used in other contracts will be flagged as an anomaly, calling the attention of the user for potential contradiction or incongruity, intentionally or unintentionally done.
(b) Currencies. To the lawyer drafting contracts involving different jurisdictions, it is prudent that all four corners of the contracts are checked for inconsistencies in the use of currencies. Use of contract templates is a common practice. Thus, there is a possibility of changing currency in first few pages while using a different currency in other unnoticed portions.
Since, Luminance gives insight as to the no. of currencies used in a particular contract, it is proven helpful to determine if similar currency is consistently used all throughout.
(c) Note-making abilities. Users can personalize reviews and be reminded of the notations and reminders relative to a particular provision. Users can likewise communicate with other members of the legal team to highlight concerns or put instructive commentaries while drafting. At CRESCO Legal, we find Luminance’s practical impact in tagging deadlines and end of terms of the contracts.
(d) Organized. Luminance also group contracts into different categories such as (a) commercial or (b) property or choices of jurisdictions. When using Luminance, you will see how much thought is put into the function tabs and visual aids. Different users can contribute to different folders across different departments. Hence, the traditional passing of folders and documents can be translated to uploading into proper folders depending on the team’s preferences.
(e) Autonomous learning. There is no need to individually tag contracts. The use of AI enables Luminance to automatically tag provisions on thousands of contracts without need of identifying each particular provision.
(f) Jurisdiction. Still in relation to making contracts consistent. Users who are dealing with numerous contracts can make use of Luminance as its proofreader. A simple contract upload, will alert you if contract is mentioning more than one jurisdiction.
Smart contract is a different convention marrying AI and blockchain technology.
Instead of limiting AI as a mere “tool”, AI is imbedded in drafting and complex execution of smart contracts. It is an option, to the traditionally executed paper agreements.
Contractual provisions are translated using blockchain technology, while the execution of the provisions of contract is facilitated by AI. This combination revolutionizes the manner contracts are executed and implemented, since even collection and payment are automated using AI.
More jurisdictions are becoming aggressive in its stance on AI and blockchain technology.
Thought-provoking issues on validity, formal requirements and nuances in perfecting contracts must be expressly addressed by law or be declared by competent courts as acceptable, or valid and binding.
Smart contracts indubitably avoided falsification and fraud, as it is virtually impossible to alter a smart contract through use of blockchain technology.
What is blockhain_
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology and distributed ledger platform that allows information to be shared (not copied) across a series of networks. This long chain (series of transaction) will be impossible to tamper as any irregularities in any part of the chain will be considered as void.
Delaware Blockchain Initiative_
In 2016, the Delaware Blockchain Initiative was launched offering innovative posture of the State of Delaware. This was hailed as the State of Delaware’s “blockchain amendments” to the Delaware General Corporate Law (DGCL). The Delaware blockchain policy accordingly allows Delaware corporations to issue and transfer shares on a distributed ledger.
U.A.E.’s attitude on Artificial Intelligence_
Meanwhile, Dubai, U.A.E. is aggressively pursuing AI. Dubai established an AI lab showcasing its fascination and conviction in the use of AI especially in many of its government services. By 2021, Dubai will go completely paper free.
To explore more about these interesting developments, you may visit https://www.smartdubai.ae/.
Is the legal profession ready for AI?
INSTEAD of perceiving AI as complicated contraptions, foreign and intimidating, AI should be welcomed with enthusiasm and excitement for the future, or rather, we might be already “in the future”.
Practice of law may be stringent and rigid, but it does not mean AI will never find its place in the legal world.
It is all a matter of a jurisdiction’s enthusiasm to receive AI.