AI just took on a team of lawyers and WON

Office jobs are predicted to be among those most affected by automation over the next five to eight years, according to a recent Deloitte report.

Yet a new study has shown computers could already be capable of more than the most basic of tasks after a leading AI contract review platform, LawGeex, outperformed experienced lawyers at reviewing legal contracts.

In the study, LawGeex went up against 20 top corporate lawyers at reviewing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) – a typical task undertaken by lawyers every day – and the software achieved a 94% accuracy rate at identifying risks, while the lawyers scored 85%, on average.

What’s more, the challenge took the LawGeex AI only 26 seconds to complete, while the lawyers, who had decades of experience specifically at reviewing NDAs for companies like Goldman Sachs, took an average of 92 minutes.

During the experiment, LawGeex and the lawyers analysed five unseen contracts, which contained 153 paragraphs of technical legal language. The best performing lawyer in the study matched the AI with a score an average accuracy of 94%, while the lowest performing lawyer score only a 67% average.

The study was overseen by independent lawyer Christopher Ray and its methodology vetted by a team of academics from Duke University and Stanford University.

Rather than seeing the findings in a negative light, one academic consulted for the study, Gillian K. Hadfield, is upbeat about its potential impact on productivity.

“This experiment may actually understate the gain from AI in the legal profession. The lawyers who reviewed these documents were fully focused on the task: it didn’t sink to the bottom of a to-do list, it didn’t get rushed through while waiting for a plane or with one eye on the clock to get out the door to pick up the kids. The margin of efficiency is likely to be even greater than the results shown here.

“This research shows technology can help solve two problems – both making contract management faster and more reliable, and freeing up resources so legal departments can focus on building the quality of their human legal teams.”

computers_can_now_read_better_than_humans_-_1Professor Erika Buell, director of the Law and Entrepreneurship course at Duke Law, added “Not only should use of the AI provide consistency and predictability in a client’s contracts, thus providing better client protection, but it also should allow lawyers to focus on the highest and best use of their time.”

Last month, it was revealed that programs created by both Alibaba and Microsoft beat humans in a reading test administered by Stanford University. However, a Microsoft spokesperson too insisted that AI is most useful when used in harmony with humans.

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