Across all industries, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a powerful tool aimed at streamlining tasks and improving productivity. Despite these, there are growing calls to regulate the use and scale of AI in the workplace, as per a report in The Guardian. According to reports, nearly 60% of respondents would like to see rules and regulations in place in order to enhance job security.

However, while there is merit to this cause, AI champions argue that when used correctly, this technology is meant to assist human workers rather than replace them. Such is the belief in the UK’s legal sector. In a report, BDO United Kingdom explains that many firms in the country are either already using AI tools or actively looking at providers with whom they can partner.

How AI is helping the legal sector
Many firms are gladly adopting AI tools to provide better services at less cost to both their businesses and their clients. On the client side, because AI can work faster, billed hours can be drastically reduced. Meanwhile, for law firms, AI tools can reduce the manhours required to sort through tedious or repetitive tasks. Case in point, London-based firm Macfarlanes began a partnership with Harvey to create a custom large language model. With this AI solution, the law firm can sieve through publicly available data in search of potential cases for plaintiff lawyers. Previously, such an undertaking would take many hours from an employee’s day.

Aside from this, AI can help improve overall outcomes. While human intervention is critical, given the sensitive nature of most cases, this does run the risk of human error. No matter how small these errors may be, they can be detrimental. In some cases, it can even create more complicated legal matters. Just this April, one such clerical error by solicitors at London’s Vardags led to the divorce of a couple who had been married for 21 years. Articles explain that the divorce was meant for a different couple under the law firm; however, an unnamed lawyer accidentally opened the wrong client file. To prevent any clerical errors without adding more work, law firms are also adopting AI-backed legal document tools that can make reviewing, drafting, and proofreading more accurate. As demonstrated by Definely, multinational firms like Slaughter and May can even use a tailored “vault” wherein the AI software can bank and review an organisation’s unique clauses, terms, and definitions. With this, it’s easier to source out proprietary data and insert relevant references into a legal document in a way that is airtight and uniform across the board.

Should AI be regulated anyway?
As with any technology, AI should be regulated but not restricted. Some AI solutions, like ChatGPT, may not have the nuance necessary in fields like law, which is why it makes sense to have regulations in place about the use of these. However, given that most AI used in the legal sector is designed to be more sophisticated and customisable, it’s important not to lump all AI together. Beyond the legal sector, AI has already proven its benefits. For instance, the healthcare industry, led by the NHS, has seen faster and more accurate clinical diagnoses with AI. All in all, this proves that although the relative newness of AI may be daunting to some, it is a boon rather than a rival. For more on the latest news and updates, visit our site here.