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Beyond Algorithms: AI's Role in the Legal Profession

Look around, and you'll discover artificial intelligence quietly embedded in our daily lives. The 18th-century industrial revolution changed the momentum, or rather developed the momentum, of blue-collar jobs by shifting muscle power to machine power. Such a revolution is underway, but this time, it'll likely replace white-collar jobs. Artificial intelligence, often abbreviated as AI, is the groundbreaking technology that empowers machines to simulate human intelligence.

The journey of AI dates back to the mid-20th century, born from the aspirations of scientists and innovators to create machines capable of intelligent behavior. From Alex Terings' theoretical groundwork to the creation of expert systems and neural networks, AI has traversed decades of revolution. Milestones such as IBM's Deep Blue defeating chess grandmasters or AlphaGo's triumph over a Go world champion marked significant leaps in AI's capabilities.

There have been documented developments pertaining to the global perspective of nations regarding AI tools. Opinions vary extensively, yet the pervasive integration of AI into our daily lives cannot be overlooked.

With an 1 increasing number of countries developing AI tailored to their specific needs and applications, a plethora of AI tools has emerged, capable of either aiding or imperiling humanity as a whole. The international community is apprehensive about the malevolent use of AI while also acknowledging its necessity for the future. The New Delhi Declaration stems from the imperative to acknowledge risks emerging from advancements in the artificial intelligence sector. In the realm of law, the New Delhi Declaration offers insights into issues concerning fairness, privacy, and intellectual property rights. Signed by a coalition of 29 members, the declaration asserts that AI utilization should prioritize the improvement and safeguarding of safety and security within democratic states, refraining from unlawful practices. Another summit, the UK AI Safety Summit at Buckinghamshire's Bletchley Park, recently convened with the objective of addressing potential future hazards posed by AI systems.

AI is making significant disruptions across nearly every sector and occupation, with its impact varying in speed and depth from one industry to another. In the realm of law, AI plays a significant role, particularly in the field of legal research, often integrated seamlessly into various research platforms without attorneys necessarily recognizing its presence or contribution.

AI has several applications within the legal profession, benefiting existing lawyers, legal professionals, and law firms in various ways, such as legal research and documentism, contract analysis and due diligence, predictive analysis for case outcomes, legal assistance and chatbots, e-discovery and data analysis, case management and workflow automation, compliance and regulatory changes, and intellectual property management. 2

The wide application of AI in the legal profession is recognized worldwide. COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Solutions) assists judges in the United States. The US government system has AI-generated chat boxes for multiple question answers related to the concerned procedure.

In 2020, the Digital Case System was launched in the UK by their Ministry of Justice. Among all nations worldwide, China has smartly adapted its legal system to AI; China's smart court system AI tech can analyze past cases, suggest applied laws and precedents, interpret the writings of past cases, and find the sentence based on similar cases, allowing judges to make fair decisions and deliver justice quickly.

India's Supreme Court isn't lagging behind in the use of AI like nations globally but has an exclusive AI tool called SUVAS (Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software). This AI tool is unique in that it can translate legal papers from English into any vernacular language in India, which is home to multiple languages and ethnicities. India's AI tool doesn't participate in the decision-making process of the judges.

In the case of Jaswinder Singh v. State of Punjab (2023), the presiding judge, Hon’ble Justice Anoop Chitkara, sought insights from ChatGPT for a broader understanding of bail jurisprudence concerning cruelty, emphasizing that these inputs are not considered in the case merits but serve only to broaden the court's perspective.

There are different AI tools available freely on the Internet that can easily be accessed and put to better use for intern lawyers, researchers, and practicing lawyers. Luminance, Maigon, Darrow AI, Tensor, IBM Watson, ChatGPT, Casetext, Amicus, Bard, LegalRobot, LawGeex, Lex Machina, and many more are widely in use. 3

Amidst the glorification of AI tools, it is unlikely to forget that AI is not yet at that level or hasn't been developed that much where it can be relied upon completely since it lacks human experience.

In contrast to licensed attorneys, AI systems operate without the need for legal practice licenses, thus avoiding adherence to ethics, standards, and professional codes of conduct. In instances where an AI system offers erroneous or misleading legal counsel, determining accountability falls into question. Will it rest upon the developer's shoulders or the users'?

For example, LawBot Pro is among the most widely used AI tools in India, designed with the help of Giri & Co., a 40- year-old law firm based in Delhi specializing in all sorts of civil and criminal matters. If Lawbot Pro makes an error, who will be held responsible? A similar incident recently occurred in New York City, USA, where a lawyer faced sanctions after utilizing ChatGPT for legal research, citing six unverifiable case citations in a court brief.

The rate of finding relevant cases through AI tools is very low. If a specific number is to be quoted, on average, an ordinary AI tool can get only one case correct out of ten recommended by it. Thus, AI tools used in legal research have a low rate of accuracy in citing correctly relevant cases due to their limitations in comprehending nuanced legal contexts, inability to understand evolving laws, and the absence of human judgment and creativity.

While these tools can assist in initial research, they're unreliable as standalone sources in court proceedings, necessitating human verification and expertise to ensure accuracy and reliability before citing cases. It remains paramount to acknowledge that AI serves as a total complement to lawyers' tasks rather than replacing them outright.

While AI streamlines tasks, it lacks the capability for intricate legal analysis, strategic decisive making, and providing comprehensive legal counsel. Proactive actions by lawmakers and experts across legal and other relevant domains are crucial to delineate clear lines of responsibility and ensure accountability in utilizing their professional practices. Ultimately, lawyers have the responsibility for their work and safeguarding their clients' interests. Although AI contributes to enhancing law firms' efficiency, it cannot supplement the expertise and experience wielded by a practicing attorney.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Niket Singh Kotwal
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