IBM Watson hosted AI takes over Legal Firm’s Bankruptcy Practice

Only a few days ago I wrote about smart APIs that developers can use to enhance their apps. Today, John Hauer on TechCrunch postulates that he could not find one job that someday won’t be dehumanized.

After a discussion on the nature of work – from repetitive assembly line work to problem solving, he presents examples of how even knowledge jobs will be automated.

For example, he tells the story of how law firm of Baker and Hostetler now handle their bankruptcy practice with an artificial intelligence name ROSS.  In recent weeks at least two other firms have licensed ROSS, as well.

According to IBM, ROSS is “a digital legal expert that helps you power through your legal research.” You ask it questions in plain English, and ROSS reads through “the entire body of law and returns a cited answer and topical readings from legislation, case law and secondary sources to get you up-to-speed quickly.” In addition, “ROSS monitors the law around the clock to notify you of new court decisions that can affect your case.”

Of course, that’s a lot more like a paralegal than attorney, but there are more than 270,000 paralegals in the US along. At $50,000 a year that’s a lot of savings. And that’s the first level of savings.

Then there’s:

DoNotPay. It provides legal advice that helps people contest parking tickets. The free service, offered in New York and London, employs an artificial intelligence chatbot. So far, it has taken more than 250,000 cases and won more than 160,000 of them, saving its users more than $4 million in fines.

The TechCrunch article has many more examples, through medical diagnoses – no surprise, AI is more consistent and less prone to error – but he’s hopeful that physicians will still be needed.

If your job is monotonous, or repetitive, it’s going to disappear. Is your job monotonous? Is your job repetitive?

2 replies on “IBM Watson hosted AI takes over Legal Firm’s Bankruptcy Practice”

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  1. A little off topic, but this has very interesting implications for law in particular. How far away are AI attorneys and even AI judges? Will it all lead to legalism?

    1. They’re not as far away as you might think, but there would be no room for compassion in the legal system. Some might argue there isn’t now.

      OTOH it would probably eliminate racial bias, and the “get out of jail free” card that law enforcement officers seem to have.

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