This article has been written by Sanjana Shikhar, a 2nd-year student of Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, and has been edited by Khushi Sharma (Trainee Associate, Blog iPleaders)
Table of Contents
Meaning of artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a phrase coined by John McCarthy, the father of AI. The Oxford Dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. (see here) Simply described, artificial intelligence (AI) is a vast discipline of computer science whose purpose is to develop systems that can operate autonomously and intelligently. It can be described as an intelligent machine capable of thinking, understanding, and acting on its own, as well as the ability to replicate certain human behaviour. As a result, Artificial Intelligence is a system that has the capability and ability to solve problems that we humans would normally solve using our natural intelligence. To elaborate further, the goal of AI development is to meet the need for and desire for automation in today’s fast-paced human lives. Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently being used to do mundane or even difficult tasks.
Artificial intelligence in the Indian legal profession
Each breakthrough in the field of law has been revolutionary, from typewriters to computers, from using libraries solely for legal study to using internet portals to find relevant case laws, from fax machines to emails. Now is the moment for AI to enter the legal profession. Although the legal services market is one of the largest in the world, it is also believed to be under-digitized in its operations. The legal profession is fairly conventional in its approach and hesitant to adopt new technologies. It’s time for us to accept that Artificial Intelligence has the potential to transform the way lawyers currently work and the way law is viewed in India. As stated by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, “technology is relevant insofar as it fosters efficiency, transparency, and objectivity in public government. AI is present to provide a facilitative tool to judges in order to recheck or evaluate the work, the process, and the judgments.” The primary purpose is to give common people greater access to justice in the long run.
The AI Task Force Report was the first phase in India’s Artificial Intelligence framework, and it was used to examine artificial intelligence in depth. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry established this task force, which is led by N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, to examine the financial benefits of AI and determine how it can benefit India. (see here) The Task-force stated its vision “To embed AI in our Economic, Political and Legal thought processes so that there is the systematic capability to support the goal of India becoming one of the leaders of AI-rich economies”.(see here)
The nature of the Indian legal profession is such that the entire procedure is done manually since the legal sector is still believed to be labour-intensive. As a result, AI is still in its early phases, with many older champions believing that technology should not be employed extensively since it may eventually take over man, and so avoiding the idea of AI in legislation. Having said that, there are many tech-savvy lawyers, as well as large law firms, who are taking full advantage of technological innovations in order to get an advantage over their competitors. We all know that the Indian legal system is extensive, with our Constitution alone being the world’s longest; as a result, with changing times, it’s critical to use AI in law to cope with the dynamic environment. In the field of legal research, lawyers can use machine learning technology to get unmatched insight into the legal world in a matter of seconds. Cyril Armarchand and Mangaldas is one such firm that has recognized AI’s capabilities and is enthusiastically adopting it. CAM has achieved history by becoming the first Indian law practice to license “Kira,” a machine learning program developed by Kira Systems in Canada. This AI-based software can handle a lot of things, which saves a lot of time and effort. The “Kira” technology is used to analyze legal papers, locate and spot any potential dangerous areas, and extract provisions from various legal documents.
Current state of artificial intelligence in law
The legal services market is one of the world’s largest, with a global value of almost $1T. At the same time, it remains under digitized. For better or worse, the legal profession is tradition-bound, notoriously slow to accept new technologies and lawyers are still at ease with and depending on solutions developed years ago. (see here)
This probably will alter in the next few years. AI has the potential to transform the way lawyers work and how the law is viewed in India. This procedure is in progress.
In the realm of law, one of the most significant disruptions that AI can make is in the field of legal research. The Indian legal system is continuously changing, and lawyers may gain a unique insight into the legal sphere in seconds using Artificial Intelligence.
An artificially intelligent research platform can complete research in seconds, and whether a law firm has 400 lawyers or a single practising lawyer, AI can balance the costs of legal research while maintaining a consistent level of quality. It can equip lawyers with efficient tools to help them become better at advising clients.
Application of artificial intelligence in the legal world
Various areas of AI in the legal sector can be discovered with adequate research and careful comprehension of the legal industry by IoT app development companies. The current Artificial Intelligence applications in the industry can be categorized into six main parts:
- DUE DILIGENCE: Lawyers use Artificial Intelligence tools to perform due diligence and uncover background information. In light of the current scenario, developers have opted to integrate a slew of new features, including agreement review, legal inquiry, and electronic media for this section of the industry.
- PROGNOSTICATION TECHNOLOGY: Artificial Intelligence (AI) aids in the generation of outcomes for legal investigations and agreement evaluations. This characteristic of AI programming appears to be extremely beneficial to legal firms and industries.
- LEGAL MECHANISM: Lawyers can obtain information points from prior or past instances using Artificial Intelligence technologies. They can also utilize this data to keep track of the judge’s instructions and forecasts. This technology is likely to become increasingly important on a global scale in the near future.
- DOCUMENTING MECHANISM: Different types of software arrangements are used in the legal industry to develop papers that aid in the collection of data and information. In the law firm industry, there are numerous documents that are useful. As a result, it is really beneficial.
- INTELLECTUAL POSSESSION: Artificial intelligence algorithms demonstrate lawyers how to examine massive IP files and extract meaning from a variety of attractive texts.
- ELECTRONIC RECEIPT: Lawyers used to make their own receipts for a long time. The billings of lawyers were turned electronic after AI software development technology was applied in these businesses.
AI technology is seen to have the potential to increase efficiency. With the aid of the machine learning algorithm input provided to the app, Artificial Intelligence works on numerous algorithms capable of speeding up document verification and processing activity. For a variety of reasons, simply removing manual tasks is insufficient to integrate artificial intelligence into the company’s infrastructure. Rather, because of increased competition among businesses, there has been an increase in demand on enterprises to use AI. Legal firms that use Artificial Intelligence can work faster and pass savings to clients and other related businesses more quickly. Companies lack the ability to automate this process and find legal services to be a little more expensive than other firms in the industry. However, it is unclear how the transition will take place. Law companies with a larger financial budget are expected to adapt to AI technology more steadily and quickly. New startup firms and tiny businesses, on the other hand, maybe able to begin with a productivity-driven approach that is automated and progressive in comparison to the larger corporations.
Face of future law firms
In the last few years, the legal business has seen a significant increase in competition. Understanding technological changes and client requirements have become critical for law firms. Those who turn a blind eye to these changes will become obsolete in the next few years.
Future law firms would be very different from what we see now. Let’s have a look at some of the qualities that advance legal companies would have:
1. CLIENT SERVICE INNOVATIONS:
In future, the way clients are served and handled will significantly change. Law firms would approach their clients with fresh ideas and more genuine and cost-effective legal solutions. Currently, law firms in India bill their services based on the billable hour technique; however, this billing method will become outdated in the future. To better serve their clients, law firms should consider rethinking their pricing practices and implementing a Performance-Based Pricing Strategy [PBPS]: As the name implies, this price plan is client-friendly, as clients will only be charged once they meet their goals and same would strengthen the professional relations between the clients and Law Firms.
2. FOCUS ON HIGHER PROFITS:
Nowadays, law firms are concerned with raising income, and if we look closely, we can see that competition among law firms has been expanding steadily, but demand for legal services has remained stable, making revenue growth extremely difficult. As a result, law firms will focus on better profitability and margins in the future rather than revenue.
3. MAKING TECHNOLOGY THE FOUNDATION FOR GROWTH:
We’ve seen a considerable increase in the introduction of new AI-based solutions targeted at making the legal sector more efficient and client-friendly in recent years. Various legal tech startups have emerged to better the lives of lawyers and law firms, ranging from E-Discovery tools to contract drafting automation. AI -based legal solutions assist law companies in becoming more efficient, lowering expenses and increasing revenues. The future law firm will incorporate these technologies, and collaborate with other businesses to develop AI-based solutions that’ll benefit the legal industry.
4. FOCUS ON BRAND VALUE:
In the future, law firms will place a greater emphasis on their brand presence. A single piece of negligent advice from a few employees can ruin a firm’s reputation, thus law firms must rely on AI-based legal solutions and platforms, as well as tech-savvy lawyers, to grow their brand value. On the other hand, law firms must increasingly host conferences and participate in cross-border seminars and workshops.
Areas in the realm of law stand out as potential for AI use
- CONTRACT REVIEW
Contracts are the lifeblood of the economy; without them, no business transactions can take place. Nonetheless, the process of concluding a contract is excruciatingly time-consuming. It may delay negotiations and prevent companies from achieving their goals. Human mistake is common, no surprise given that attention to minutiae is essential and the fact that contracts can be thousands of pages lengthy.
The idea of automating this process is being pursued by startups such as Lawgeex and LexCheck. These firms are working on AI systems that can automatically ingest proposed contracts, evaluate them in detail using natural language processing (NLP) technology, and determine which parts are acceptable and which aren’t.
- CONTRACT ANALYTICS
The first step is to sign a contract. Staying on top of the agreed-upon conditions and obligations after the parties have signed a contract may be a major problem. This problem is especially serious for large firms, which will have millions of outstanding contracts with thousands of distinct counter-parties spread over multiple internal divisions.
Companies currently operating in the dark about the nature of their contractual ties to an alarming degree. AI can help tackle this problem. NLP-powered solutions are being developed that extract and contextualize critical information across a company’s full body of contracts, making it simple for all stakeholders to grasp the nature of the company’s commercial commitments.
Sales teams will be able to track when contracts are up for renewal, allowing them to take advantage of revenue opportunities. Procurement teams may stay on top of existing agreements’ details, giving them the power to renegotiate as necessary. Regulatory teams might keep a broad view of a company’s operations in order to ensure compliance. Finance teams can make sure they are always ready for M&A and due diligence.
- LITIGATION PREDICTION
A few AI teams are developing machine learning models to anticipate the outcomes of pending cases, using the corpus of relevant precedent and the facts of the case as inputs. As these forecasts become more precise, they’ll have a significant impact on legal practice. Law firms are beginning to utilize them to plan ahead of time their litigation strategy, expedite settlement negotiations, and reduce the number of cases that need to go to trial.
Blue J Legal, based in Toronto, is one such company working on an AI-powered legal prediction engine, with an initial concentration on tax law. According to the business, its AI can accurately anticipate case outcomes 90% of the time.
- LEGAL RESEARCH
Legal research is an area where machine intelligence is making headway. Legal research used to be a labor-intensive procedure, with law students and firm associates searching case law volumes for relevant precedent. With the introduction of personal computing recently, this procedure has gone digital, and lawyers increasingly undertake research using computer applications such as LexisNexis and Westlaw. These outdated technologies lack intelligence beyond rudimentary search functionality.
In recent years, a new wave of firms has developed, all aiming to use improvements in natural language processing to transform legal research. These platforms go beyond mechanical keyword matching to bring up the most relevant existing legislation.
Impact of AI on the Indian judicial system
When we look at the Indian court system, we can see that there are judicial delays. The judiciary is overburdened with over 3 Cr. pending cases, which causes unwelcome delays in administering justice to the people, and as the phrase goes, justice delayed is justice denied. As a result, various efforts are being taken to improve the current situation, such as cutting vacation duration and improving judging strength, but it is time to do more, which is where Artificial Intelligence comes into play (see here). Every year, a large number of cases of a similar character are filed, necessitating the use of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to assist courts by employing predictive technology to provide critical information about ongoing cases based on prior cases of a similar nature. According to studies, AI can be very useful at the evidence stage, which is a critical point in any case. Because it is such an important stage in any case, it consumes a significant amount of court time. AI-assisted analysis can assist judges in making quick decisions. Multiple delays are a common feature of this stage for various reasons such as delay due to Investigation in charge, absence of witnesses, etc. The function of AI technology in such situations would be to predict potential delays, which would benefit judges because they would know ahead of time what causes the above-mentioned delays in similar cases, such as murder. This predictive technology will be beneficial because judges will be able to handle the workload of each case appropriately. It will also assist judges in taking proactive measures to prevent witnesses from becoming hostile by providing them with additional police protection.
One of the most significant recent developments was the Chief Justice of India, S.A. Bobde, recently stating in an interview: “We have a possibility of developing Artificial Intelligence for court system. Only for the purpose of ensuring that the undue delay in justice is prevented.” He also made it clear that AI will not be replacing human discretion or judges. Sharing more insights he further stated that “It is only the repetitive, mathematical and the mechanical parts of the judgments for which help can be taken from the machine learning system…we are exploring the possibility of implementing it.”(see here)
This is undoubtedly one of the most significant points: the Chief Justice of India believes that incorporating AI technology into the legal and judicial systems will be beneficial. If it is implemented with an appropriate legislative framework specifying norms and regulations, it will substantially assist the Indian judicial system.
AI-related start-ups and their impact
- SPOT DRAFT:
Shashank Bijapur, a Harvard Law School alumnus, and Madhav Bhagat, a former Google employee, founded this AI-based start-up. This AI-powered company can examine legal documents and decrease paperwork by allowing clients to write business contracts. This ground-breaking tool allows clients to draft and sign contracts, it also has features of automatic reminders and payments.
.This is a site for legal research. This start-up aims to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create connections between diverse case laws, making it easier for legal researchers to conduct in-depth and thorough studies.
This machine-learning software works as a legal assistant in researching case laws, analysing the legal language and acting as an assistant by pointing out any potential points of law that may be missing, suggesting alternative arguments, and highlighting relevant judgments and case laws for thorough legal research.
This Mumbai-based start-up provides AI-based legal solutions to lawyers and law firms. NearLaw is reported to be utilizing NLP technologies to assist in legal matters by understanding case rankings.
- PRACTICE LEAGUE:
This is a legal tech law business based in Pune that has employed AI to revolutionize the working model for over 8,000 lawyers. According to reports, this company is collaborating with tech heavyweights like Google and Amazon to integrate AI capabilities into its products.
Use of technology and AI during Covid-19 in law
People’s life has been impacted by the covid-19 epidemic. In the realm of law, it has undoubtedly made lawyers and judges see the value of technology and the necessity of employing AI and machine learning software to complete their tasks. As a result of the social isolation that has resulted in a lockdown, the courts are only dealing with urgent matters via video conference and e-filing of legal documents, as ordered by the Supreme Court(see here). In the case of Swapnil Tripathi v. Supreme Court of India, (see here) the Supreme Court of India acknowledged the notion of live streaming of proceedings, with the exception of specific situations such as rape and matrimonial cases.
As Justice Sikhri properly points out, “the wheels of justice cannot be stopped because of lockdown.” Delivery of justice is under essential services, and technology has played a critical part throughout Covid-19, from e-filing to e-payment of court fees, among other things. The Delhi High Court has even gone a step further by establishing e-rooms, which are completely paperless courtrooms where people can check their case facts on their internet portal. Given the circumstances we all find ourselves in, technology is the one friend who will be with us for a long time. It is therefore time to embrace technical breakthroughs, including AI, and go forward on the path of growth.
AI: a lawyer’s replacement?
Many innovative solutions have been introduced in the legal field, improving the productivity of lawyers, contract analysis, trademark search software, legal research software, and much more. However, none of the AI-based software aims to replace lawyers but is instead improving the authenticity and accuracy of research and analysis.
In India, the legal profession is still evolving, and more AI-based and automated aiding tools and software are on the way. These AI-based automated aiding software will not replace the lawyer’s profession, which requires analysis, decision-making, and stratification, but will instead make them more efficient and competent while automating numerous clerical jobs.
Challenges of AI in law
- NOT COMPLETELY ACCEPTED BY LEGAL PROFESSIONALS:
When we look at India, artificial intelligence in law is still in its infancy. Lawyers are hesitant to adopt this technology because they believe it will have a negative impact on employment. They fear that technology will supplant a lawyer’s or a legal clerk’s primary source of income, resulting in increased unemployment across the country. Most senior legal professionals are hesitant to change their routines and want to practice in the traditional way, without the use of artificial intelligence.
- THE LEGAL PERSONALITY OF AI IS NOT DEFINED:
Artificial intelligence’s legal personality is not explicitly defined elsewhere in contemporary law, and robots are complicated in nature, making it impossible to determine whether ordinary laws and norms would apply in the same way. As a result, unless the rights and obligations of AI-driven devices and tools are clarified, there will be misunderstanding, because the current legal system does not hold a robot liable for its own actions or omissions.
- LACK OF PROPER SYSTEMS AND DATA:
Machine learning is based on algorithms that are fed into computer systems, and the machine then acts on them. One of the major barriers to using AI technology in India is that there is outdated technology and machines being used, the data is frequently incomplete, and the machine will not be able to perform accurately unless a large chunk of reliable data is provided to it. (see here)
AI machines are sophisticated machine systems capable of learning and responding on their own, which necessitates a significant financial commitment. The majority of AI-driven machines are manufactured by foreign corporations, making it even more difficult for small and midsized law firms to obtain them; only large law firms can afford them.
- PRIVACY AND PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA:
It’s critical that AI-driven machine learning robots are built in such a way that the parties’ personal information is kept safe and secure. Because machine learning works with large amounts of data, it is even more critical that the legal framework ensures that the data is not misused, that confidentiality is maintained, and that a fair due process is followed, and that a security layer to prevent privacy breaches is implemented.
In 2018, the NITI Ayog released a policy paper titled “National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence,” which considered the importance of AI and how it can be used in various sectors in India. In the 2019 Budget, it also proposed the launch of a national AI program(see here). Despite all of these advancements on the technological front, India still lacks effective legislation that regulates and controls the AI industry.
Conclusion and suggestions
Advances in technology have undoubtedly altered the legal industry’s outlook; it can be concluded that AI in the field of law has numerous benefits: it has aided legal professionals in quick research; it can assist judges in decision-making processes with its predictive technology; it is useful for law firms for due diligence work, data collection, and other tasks, all of which make their work more efficient; and it is useful for law firms for due diligence work, data collection, and other tasks, all of which make their work more efficient. Despite its numerous benefits, AI cannot replace lawyers. It can assist them in certain areas of work, but AI lacks strategic thinking and is not creative in the same way that humans are. Robots lack emotional intelligence and empathy, as well as the ability to improvise in front of a judge. Incorporating AI into the legal business has numerous problems, including the fact that it is still vulnerable to a variety of hazards, necessitating the creation of a comprehensive legal framework to control Artificial Intelligence and prevent it from exploiting its clients’ data. Only when we have a legal framework guiding AI’s behavior in order to reduce the hazards associated with it will we be able to reap the full benefits of AI.
To ensure AI’s inclusion, we need to take a balanced approach. Here are a few suggestions:
1) A solid regulatory framework that clearly states the obligations and liabilities of this intelligent machine must be created.
2) The accountability aspect must be considered in order to govern its behavior.
3) To safeguard privacy, tougher data protection regulations are required. As a result, the solution is not to take a back seat and avoid technological breakthroughs, but to embrace them and use AI to our benefit by putting in place the necessary legislation to protect the interests of its users.
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