In an innovative study, US lawyers in corporate law and contract review went up against a computer to spot issues in five Non-Disclosure Agreements” NDAs”, which are a contractual basis for most business deals.
The human contenders were twenty US-trained lawyers, with decades of legal experience ranging from law firms to corporations. They competed against a LawGeex Artificial Intelligence ‘’AI” system that has been developed for three years and trained on tens of thousands of contracts.
Guess who lost? Humanity fell short against the computer. The human lawyers achieved, on average, an 85 percent accuracy rate, while the AI achieved 95 percent accuracy. The AI completed the task in 26 seconds, while the human lawyers took 92 minutes on average. The AI achieved perfect accuracy in one contract whereas the human lawyer only achieved a maximum of 97% accuracy in one contract.
So, AI is faster and more accurate than mere mortal human lawyers. Have lawyers become replaceable?
The LawGeex AI system is a response to a business problem that frustrates many commercial lawyers. The problem is that the typical Fortune 1000 company maintains 20,00 to 40,000 contracts at any given time. That is a lot of contracts that need to be reviewed and requires a considerable amount of time. As the old saying goes, “Time is money”. Simple contract review can become expensive for companies. The clever solution from LawGeex was to design a machine to review simple contracts and since the machine can complete the job in a fraction of the time that it takes a human lawyer, this means that it frees up time and gives lawyers more time to apply their mind to complex matters. Consultancy firm McKinsey estimates that 22% of a lawyer’s job and 35% of a paralegal’s job can be automated.
Law firms can use AI to become more efficient and take less time reviewing contracts which results in more value based legal services.
However, Legal AI cannot be used as a standalone tool. This technology is a great way for lawyers to use tech in a strategic way to become more efficient and competitive. A good example to understand this, is a “pilot using autopilot to fly an airplane”. Together, human and machine can work synergistically to maximize output.
This is an exciting tool that all lawyers should be aware of. Technology is reshaping legal services and although this technology will never fully replace a lawyer, yet, it is important that lawyers adapt.