December 22, 2022

What Lawyers Should Know About AI and Machine Learning

Chris Brown
What Lawyers Should Know About AI and Machine Learning

As the legal field continues to evolve, it's important for lawyers to stay up to date with the latest technology. One area that has gained significant attention in recent years is artificial intelligence (AI) and its subfield, machine learning. While many lawyers may be familiar with these concepts, the recent release of GPT-3.5, a powerful language processing AI model, has further highlighted the potential of these technologies in the legal profession.

An Intro to AI & Machine Learning

AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the ability of a computer to mimic human intelligence and behavior. This includes tasks such as problem solving and decision making. Machine learning, on the other hand, is a specific type of AI that involves the use of algorithms to learn from data without necessarily being programmed on how to do so.

How Lawyers Can Use AI & Machine Learning

AI can be used to automate tedious tasks, such as document review and legal research, freeing up lawyers to focus on more high-level, strategic work. AI can also be used to provide valuable insights and predictions, helping lawyers to make more informed decisions. 

Additionally, AI can be used to improve the accuracy and efficiency of legal work. For example, AI-powered contract analysis tools can quickly and accurately review contracts, flagging potential issues and providing suggestions for points to change or negotiate. This can save lawyers a significant amount of time and help them to avoid costly mistakes.

In the litigation arena, lawyers can use machine learning to analyze large amounts of data, such as court decisions and legal precedents, to gain insights and make predictions about the likelihood of a particular outcome in a case. This can help the lawyer to develop more effective strategies and to better serve their clients.

All these changes are prompting some people to argue that computers will replace lawyers soon. That might happen some day, but the reality is that computers have not achieved the level of sophistication necessary to fully replace lawyers. For the foreseeable future, only lawyers will be able to provide competent judgment and fact-specific advice to clients. However, it is important to note that lawyers who use these new AI tools will certainly have a competitive advantage over lawyers who don’t keep up. And many clients will soon require lawyers to learn and use these new technologies to remain competitive among their peers.

What’s Next for AI-Power Lawyers

As you may have seen on this website, the engineers at Rally are already taking full advantage of these new advances with their new contract automation tool Spellbook. I’ve personally used this myself to draft new contract provisions, summarize contract terms, and find unusual terms in contracts sent to me by third parties.

What’s more, this technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Most recently (in November 2022), OpenAI released GPT-3.5, its most current Large Language Model. OpenAI also released ChatGPT, a conversational AI model utilizing GPT-3.5 which allows users to interact with the computer to answer a wide variety of questions. Its developers have made it clear the technology is still in its earliest stages and that it cannot yet provide 100% accurate answers, but the answers it is providing are astoundingly accurate. I even used the chat bot to help create the structure and content of this blog post (but I reviewed each word and made substantial edits of course).

This new release is something that legal tech companies are sure to incorporate into their platforms. Rally is already working to incorporate the unbelievable technology in GPT-3.5 into their chatbot within Spellbook to provide even better answers to lawyers’ inquiries. For example, you might ask Spellbook to tell you how a party can terminate a specific contract, and the results are surprisingly accurate.

I was lucky to get into Spellbook early (which works directly in Microsoft Word). And if you’d like to explore how amazing the tool is for contract lawyers, you should sign up for Spellbook’s waitlist.

Ready to learn more? Check out the rest of our Getting Started Guide.

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