This New York Times article evaluates a proposition that lawyers will be one of the first white collar professions to be made redundant with the rise of artificial intelligence and increased automation.
Artificial intelligence has been applied particularly successfully in the pre-trial discovery process; where vast amounts of documents and text have to be collected, sorted and presented to each party in litigation. Sophisticated programs are able to sort through copious amount of documents and text in a fraction of the time that it would take a candidate attorney or a paralegal.
Having regard to a study examining the hours billed by lawyers (of which the discovery process generally forms but a fraction) the author points out that the nature of a lawyers work is far more complex and varied then simply sorting through text. At this point in time, even the most advanced technology available today could only modestly supplant the work of a modern day lawyer.
This notwithstanding, the article highlights that the legal profession, which in any event is constantly evolving, will have to continue to adapt in order to remain relevant.
Read the full article here http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/the-end-of-work-not-so-fast/?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0