Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

SPECIAL FEATURE 13 While artificial intelligence (AI) has long been touted for the benefits it stands to bring to the legal profession, 2022 saw some truly portentous developments. Tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT took the world by storm, demonstrating the potential of so-called ‘generative’ AI for producing content from code to essays to advertisements. Similar AI systems tailored for the legal sector – such as Lexion’s AI Contract Assist – have the potential to greatly boost a law firm’s productivity through the automation of processes involved in due diligence, legal research, contract management and discovery. As existing systems are built upon and new competitors emerge, we can expect firms to entrust greater portions of their output to creative machines in and beyond 2023. It is little coincidence that 76% of legal professionals see digital technology as one of the key drivers of change in the model legal sector. However, we are no closer to a mass replacement of legal professionals by AI, despite popular fears. “Lawyers exercise independent professional judgment,” Muldoon & Partners founder Katherine Muldoon points out. “AI cannot currently emulate essential lawyer skills such as strategic and creative thinking, conflict resolution, negotiation, emotional intelligence and empathy. In short, the things that make a good lawyer great.” Artificial Intelligence

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