Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had a profound impact on the Legal Profession and specific business practices. Various studies conducted globally indicate that technology are faster, more reliable and efficient than humans. However, we have not considered the gaps if any AI has. Below are some of the gaps and concerns identified to date.
High Cost (time and money)
AI in its very nature is still very expensive to access in South Africa, the skills to develop are scarce, which increases costs and the time to feed information into the software.
No Replicating Humans
Unlike Lawyers and humans in general, machine lack emotions and moral value. They can only perform what is programmed and cannot make the judgment of right or wrong. This specifically holds true in case of an equity judgements.
Current AI need humans for improvement
Unlike humans, today’s AI cannot independently improve without humans to provide new codes and a new training algorithm, among other things. They do not have the ability to easily apply its intelligence to any problem. Their cognitive abilities are limited and don’t extend to tasks which they were not created for.
According to the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) 2018 reports, there were about 26 701 Attorneys and 6 669 Candidate Attorneys. The automation process will, to a great extent, decrease manual labour. With the recent announcement of a 29% unemployment rate in South Africa, it reflects that the undesirable social phenomenon is a deep and severe crisis. Therefore, in my view the fourth or fifth industrial revolution is a very real threat to job security.
AI will bring about lots of changes in the workforce, However, it is not accessible to all in South Africa, but that may change in the future. Therefore, it is advisable and prudent that one becomes an expert and leverage his/her unique human qualities to become the best they can be.
- 1. AI in Law and Legal Practice – A Comprehensive View of 35 Current Applications (https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-law-legal-practice-current-applications/) by Edgar Alan Rayo
- 2. The risks affecting the sustainability and viability of law firms http://www.derebus.org.za/the-risks-affecting-the-sustainability-and-viability-of-law-firms/ by Thomas Harban
- 3. Rani’s outlook on the 4th Industrial Revolution
https://www.therep.co.za/2019/07/02/ranis-outlook-on-the-4th-industrial-revolution/ by Abongile Solundwana
- 4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence
- 5. SA unemployment rate jumps to 29%, the worst since 2008 https://www.fin24.com/Economy/just-in-sa-unemployment-rate-jumps-to-29-the-worst-since-2008-20190730 by Lameez Omarjee
- 6. The biggest limitation of artificial intelligence is it’s only as smart as the data sets served
- 7. 7 Qualities to Look For in a Lawyer
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225906 by Entrepreneur Staff
- 8. AI vs. Lawyers: The Ultimate Showdown
- 9. This startup is trying to automate law firms