10 predictions about how IBM’s Watson will impact the legal profession

“Lawyers have been thinking for a while about whether artificial intelligence would ever start to displace or complement lawyers. Richard Susskind, the leading legal futurist/technologist, did his work in this area starting in the mid-1980s. In the August issue of the ABA Journal, one of the commenters to an article about LegalZoom feared: “Once we have fully artificial intelligence enhanced programs like LegalZoom, there will be no need for lawyers, aside from the highly specialized and expensive large-law-firm variety.”

Similarly, August’s American Lawyer carried a long discussion about Watson. “One thing that is abundantly clear is that there are things that lawyers have traditionally done that can be automated,” Cooley partner Craig Jacoby told the American Lawyer. “There’s no sense fighting that.”

For a longer view of how these systems work, let’s quote the chief technology officer of Synopsys (Paul’s old company)—arguably was one of the more successful AI companies of the time—circa 1993: “It’s only AI when you don’t know how it works; once it works, it’s just software.””

via ABA Journal http://ow.ly/kjrK301Dv8M

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