Lawyers are pretty good at law-related activities. It’s their job, after all. But for at least one of those activities, lawyers are only second-best. A recent document-analyzing competition between lawyers and artificial intelligence .
The competition was managed by legal AI platform , which trained its AI to read and interpret complex legal documents. LawGeex pitted that AI against law professors from Stanford, Duke, and the University of Southern California in a competition to read and interpret a collection of five non-disclosure agreements.
Both the humans and the AI were given four hours to read the contracts and identify over 30 legal terms and issues, including arbitration and confidentiality agreements. Both the human and AI participants were scored based on how accurate their assessments were.
While the human lawyers managed a respectable 85 percent success rate, they were outperformed by the AI, which managed a full ten percentage points better. Even more impressively, human lawyers averaged 92 minutes to analyze the contracts, the AI did it in only 26 seconds.
“This research shows technology can help solve two problems - both making contract management faster and more reliable, and freeing up resources so legal departments can focus on building the quality of their human legal teams,” said Gillian K. Hadfield, one of the lawyers who participated in the competition.
This doesn’t mean that lawyers will be out of a job soon, of course. There’s plenty that lawyers do that this AI can never accomplish. Instead, it’s likely that AI technology will be used to make lawyers’ jobs easier by performing much of this type of rote work. The end result will likely be lawyers capable of taking on more clients, which will mean more access to legal counsel for everybody.