“Running with the Machines: Artificial Intelligence in the Practice of Law” by Sensei’s Sharon Nelson and John Simek was featured in the October 2017 issue of the San Bernardino Bar Association Bulletin.
Only recently has genuine real-world usage of AI in law firms begun to flourish. Amid the initial hype, about 5% of what was ballyhooed as AI, in our judgment, was not. Even today, there is an astonishing amount of hype – everyone wants to say they’ve boarded the AI train. As we write, an article from InfoWorld was just published entitled, “Artificially Inflated: It’s Time to call BS on AI.” While great ‘clickbait’, we think the title overstates the case. The peaks and troughs of AI are well documented, and as we are now at a peak, the hype factor gets greater, while the reality (often very good) is lost in the noise of the hype.
As large firms, which certainly need to be at the forefront of innovation, begin to invest considerable sums in AI, the landscape is changing. Large law firms simply cannot afford – for monetary and brand reasons – to be left behind. Clients will begin to see the efficiencies of AI and its extraordinary possibilities wherever AI may be found. AI will be a honeypot to clients seeking those efficiencies and possibilities.
A brief note: An article of this length cannot adequately address all the players in the legal AI market and what they can do. We call out a few names simply because we’ve run into these companies through colleagues or our reading.