AI can’t completely rule out human cognition

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a part of our lives than ever. From crafting customised replies to our emails and scheduling appointments to finding the fastest route to our destination and enhancing travel experiences, the cutting-edge technology has pervaded almost every aspect of our life.

This makes it clear that AI is playing a significant role in our everyday routine. Let us imagine a step ahead of taking its impact on a large scale like our jobs. The emergence of AI, Internet of Things and Machine Learning has rapidly changed the face of employment as well.

With this technology replacing manual work in many professions has led to an unemployment crisis of data entry clerks, drivers, customer service assistants, textile machine workers and bookkeepers among others. Since the nature of these jobs was routinised, it became easier for a machine to easily replace those.

But, what about the professions which depend on human interaction, trust, perspective and logical thinking? For instance, lawyers whose career depends on logical reasoning, analytical thinking, attention to detail and sound judgment! Will these professionals undergo a transformation in the age of automation? Or, should these professionals worry about the influence of AI in their career? Well, then let us look into the shifts and trends that AI has made on the legal profession.

Transforming agent

The primary purpose of AI is to equip computers and machines to work intelligently. In other words, to train robots to help us speed up our tasks. Here is an instance where AI can aide lawyers in their profession.

As soon as one completes his or her graduates in law and start working, they are likely to draft and negotiate contracts for their clients. Every time they get a new request, they need to need to pull old documents and rework on creating a new document with current details that is legally binding. If this seems mechanical, then, why not use a machine to get rid of such monotonous activities. It is now with the help of AI, lawyers can digitise the process of creating contracts based on guidelines. By adopting this change, the lawyers can save time from a tedious task done by machines, and legal professionals will have to review it for perfection.

While studying for a particular case, a lawyer has to go through similar types of cases. This is to help him or her to understand the nature of the case and create a strong argument.

At this juncture, a lawyer instead of going through a massive pile of records to study one example can rely on AI-powered machine, which can go through a vast database to help identify relevant cases based on keywords. Also, there might be times, when a lawyer can get tired looking at the same type of words, phrases and cases repeatedly.

This can even make the lawyer commit errors while working. But, this would not be the same as a computer. And, all of this can be done much faster and efficiently as compared with humans.

By automating such tasks, lawyers can save their time to make some value add to their client’s case, and deliver an effective service. This is how AI seeks to transform the legal industry. However, there are instances where the automation is set by boundaries and the manual tasks of the lawyers would not grow extinct in the age of automation.

Strings attached

Yes, it is doubtless that AI has made work easier and burden-free through its varied automatised functions. But this does not necessarily implicate to seize a lawyer’s work. As stated earlier, the law is not a profession of merely creating legal documents for organisations, but the art of advising clients based on learning and experience. It involves human interaction of building relationships with clients, communicating with them to gain trust and comprehending the case and their requirements to solve disputes which a machine may not be capable of.

Thus it is clear that how AI might help transform the lawyers’ nature of work and not get rid of it. It is how legal practitioners perceive and manage the ever-evolving technology and use it towards the advancement of their services. Automation is creeping into the way we live, work and communicate; hence, we need to learn how to embrace this change and make the most of it.

(The author is faculty, Alliance University)

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AI can’t completely rule out human cognition

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