Fuzzy Logic: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Law

computer chip

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning are well-suited to the law in many ways. 

As both machine learning and law apply historical examples (precedents) to determine how to handle new situations, they operate according to the same principles.

AI technologies – especially natural language processing – are close to transforming and revamping the legal field as they improve.

In addition to historical case data processing, legal research, and case outcome prediction, AI is able to handle a variety of tasks traditionally performed by lawyers.

According to a Deloitte report, 39% of legal jobs can already be automated. 

What This Means For The Future Of Law Firms 

AI and automation have the potential to replace up to 23% of a lawyer’s daily responsibilities. 

This helps across areas such as:

Contract ReviewContract Analytics
Litigation PredictionLegal Research

And this results in:

  • Elimination of time-consuming legal tasks
  • Efficiency gains and deeper legal knowledge
  • An understanding and adoption of legal tech
  • More time to spend exploring creative ways to tackle legal matters
  • More time to spend with clients
  • Saving money for clients 

Other ways AI can help law firms:

Due diligenceDocument automationPreparing cases
Spotting weaknessesIntellectual property Electronic billing

It is important to note that artificial intelligence law is complicated and can include issues such as intellectual property, data protection, ethics, politics, and social policy. 

child with artificial intelligence robot

Some Legal Questions Relating To Artificial Intelligence

AI is part of our daily lives – from Alexa and apps like Siri, through video games, automatic online shopping carts and AI-based bots. 

Many companies are already using AI via chatbots to answer people’s questions. 

And in some cases, the AI is making decisions such as whether to grant people loans. 

That’s a lot of responsibility. 

You would have to hope the algorithm behind the AI is fair and solid.

The area of artificial intelligence thus raises some important legal questions.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Can AI commit a crime, who is responsible, and who will monitor this?
  • Do we need legal requirements to ensure AI behaves within the law? 
  • What will the punishment be for using AI to commit a crime?
  • How will AI comply with international humanitarian law?
  • Does the AI or its creator own the intellectual property it creates? 
  • If AI creates new content outside of its code, who does it belong to?
  • Would AI constitute a legal entity or would it have to adhere to legal social control? 
  • Can AI have rights in anything? 
  • Who is liable for the damages suffered by people as a result of AI? 
  • How do we put laws in place to eliminate bias and discrimination?

The Concerns Surrounding Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can now be recognised as an inventor in patent applications after an historic Australian court decision in July this year. 

An AI machine called DABUS is an “artificial neural system”, and Australia’s Federal Court made the historic finding that “the inventor can be non-human”.

The Commissioner of Patents has  decided to appeal the Federal Court’s decision.

The appeal is centred on questions of law and the interpretation of the patent legislation as it currently stands. The Commissioner considers that the legislation is incompatible with permitting an AI to be an inventor, and that the issue is one of public importance.

Every bias introduced by AI increases the risk of class-action lawsuits against companies.

Problems usually arise from the data used for training the AI. Data with bias will be acquired and may even be amplified by AI. 

An example of this was when Microsoft had to take down its chatbot shortly after it went live due to its inflammatory, racist messages when it used tweets to train it to communicate with Twitter users. 

In another case of AI gone bad, police in Victoria once issued a warning discouraging iPhone users from relying on Apple’s map app after rescuing several people who became stranded in bushland after following the app’s directions – some who were stranded 24 hours without adequate food and water.

However, the Saudi Arabian government granted citizenship to Sophia (a humanoid) in November 2017. So artificial intelligence is gaining prominence and legitimacy. 

Indeed, a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute reports that automation and other new technology could eliminate as many as 800 million jobs by 2030.

Artificial intelligence is not going away, and it is only going to become more powerful and have an increasing impact on our daily lives as human beings.

How We Help You With Artificial Intelligence Law

Ryan & Seton Lawyers is a progressive law firm, and we like to keep ahead of the legal implications of an ever-increasing AI-driven society. Here’s how we can help you:

  • Get legal guidance on artificial intelligence law in your jurisdiction and learn the laws, rules, codes, or principles that apply.
  • If you need legal advice on a legal issue related to artificial intelligence, contact us.
  • We can provide you with an incident response policy that will help you effectively deal with incidents related to the use of AI.
  • Get our assistance with privacy and data protection when you use or develop AI.

We can provide you with assistance in a range of matters relating to protecting intellectual property and artificial intelligence. Contact us today for more information.

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