Artificial Intelligence: The Great Disruptor

As AI becomes a foundational technology in the global economy and the advances begin to accelerate, calculations are being made on how professional landscapes will begin to change with those advances. It was initially believed that machines would take over factory jobs and manual labor tasks, but as the technology becomes more sophisticated, the list of professions at risk of automation has grown significantly into the sectors of finance, healthcare, and law.

In a report completed by McKinsey Global Institute, researchers found that across the job sectors reviewed, many tasks are ripe for automation. The report finds that 49 percent of time spent on work activities can be automated with “currently demonstrated technology,” but that this automation will not lead to immediate job loss, rather than job transformation. Several other reports estimate potential job automation somewhere between 9 to 50 percent. We know the job landscape will change, but to what degree has yet to be seen.

One sector being targeted by AI companies is the legal field, current applications cover the tasks of document review, litigation support, and transaction search and file tasks; however, plans for more advanced technology will assist in court case planning and strategy, a task thought to be reserved for seasoned attorneys. With the introduction of new technologies built around machine learning and artificial intelligence, tasks which historically required the support of several paralegals are now being replaced with digital tools created by IBM, Ross Intelligence, Nextlaw Labs, and Lex Machina. 

It has yet to be determined how quickly these technologies will work their way in the legal industry; an industry which historically has been slow to adopt new technologies. One thing that is a certain determinant of changes to come is that money will ultimately direct the market. As technologies improve and humans become more comfortable with integrating automation, the price demands will decrease and changes will follow for all actors in the legal field - Boomerang included. In the information age and the age of machine learning, industries will be forced to adapt with the technologies advancing it. At Boomerang we are working to be at the forefront of those advances, and adapt in a way that advantages us and our clients.