AI and Machine Learning: A Primer

We’ve been hearing about the potential impacts Artificial Intelligence (AI) could have on the legal profession for several years now. Naysayers warn of waves of legal administration job losses and that IBM’s Watson could supplant lawyers. Proponents laud AI’s ability to transform the legal industry to a model of effectiveness and profitability never seen before. Neither side provides clear and direct evidence of how these things might actually come to pass. The AI discussion outside of legal operates on the same basic premises, but at a macro level. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warn us that robots are going to take over the world, Facebook and Google tell us the technology will help us to save the world. In the midst of all the hype, the fact is that there is a lot of confusion around what AI is, how it works, and what the technology can actually do right now.
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Understanding AI

For years, we have been hearing about the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology could have on the legal profession. The hype around how AI will “change the world” includes everything from promises of an AI-fueled utopia to the impending Skynet apocalypse. To say that expectations about AI are high would be an understatement and while much of the talk is around the possibilities, the reality is much less dramatic, is not always that useful or amazing, and can be extremely frustrating.
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