Extract from interview with Ralph Losey by Doug Austin
One trend that I’ve observed is an increased focus on automation and considerable growth of, and investment in, eDiscovery automation providers. What are your thoughts about that trend?
It is the trend and it will be the trend for the next 20 or 30 years. We’re just seeing the very beginning of it. The first way it has impacted the legal profession is through document review and the things that I’m doing. I love artificial intelligence because I need the help of artificial intelligence to boost my own limited intelligence. I can only remember so many things at once, I make mistakes, I’m only human. So, I believe that AI is going to augment the lawyers that are able to use it and they are going to be able to do much, much more than before. I can do the work of one hundred linear reviewers with no problem, by using a software AI enhancement.
It’s not going to put lawyers out of work, but it is going to reduce the volume of menial tasks in the law. For mental tasks that a lawyer can do that require just simple logic, a computer can do those tasks better than a human can do them. Simple rules-based applications, reviewing documents – there are many things that lawyers do that a computer can do better. But, there are also many, many things that only a human can do. We’re nowhere near actually replacing lawyers and I don’t think we ever will.