A recent report entitled "Images of the Future Worlds Facing the Legal Profession 2020-2030", sponsored by the Law Society, has raised the spectre of a bleak future for employment within the legal profession, with lawyers seemingly facing extinction from AI technology and new business models.
This is the continuation of a theme that has been around for a while but which fails to take into account the fact almost all technology systems purporting to be AI and operating within the legal sector are yet to be regulated to provide legal advice and whose manufacturers and distributors only commit to the systems meeting a given functional specification rather than being liable for the legal output - or advice.
I am a firm believer that AI will have a huge impact on society and that the legal sector will use its many advantages - but replace the provision of lawyers providing legal advice and guidance? Not yet, if ever. Change the nature of the job for sure - as email replaced letter writing and the role of Trainees in opening the post - but taking responsibility for keeping pace with statutory and common law developments and how this is used in practice? I am not so sure that this will happen any time soon.
Let's all watch this space...
Law Society sponsored initiative paints a bleak vision of a legal profession largely replaced by artificial intelligence and self-service legal advice.