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How Emerging Technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, are Transforming the Legal Profession

By Brett M. Anders and Ana C. Shields
  • May 11, 2017

Emerging technologies are expected to have a significant impact on the legal profession, both in terms of new electronic devices containing discoverable information as well as the increased use of artificial intelligence to perform tasks typically performed by attorneys. While there are some who predict that lawyers may be the next profession to be replaced by artificial intelligence, the more likely outcome is that, in the near term, artificial intelligence will only have a significant impact on those routine tasks performed by attorneys that can be standardized or that fit within a defined structure of rules. Conversely, the rise of artificial intelligence will have less of an impact on those attorneys who operate in an unstructured environment where there is a high degree of human interaction and where the ability to recognize non-verbal cues and to think creatively is paramount. This paper first will address how emerging technologies are creating new sources of electronically stored information and how that impacts e-discovery. Second, this paper will address the impact that emerging technologies, in particular machine learning and artificial intelligence, are expected to have on the role of attorneys and other legal professionals.

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