Is AI real in law? Are most successful legal applications just software? Micah Grupp  raises some interesting points in his recent article entitled Facts About AI and Law You Always Wanted to Know. I’m not sure I agree with everything he says (Headline: Grupp takes a pretty jaundiced view of AI in law).  But it is true that what a lot of companies call AI really isn’t as they seek to capitalize on AI as a hot topic.  This doesn’t necessarily make their products bad (some are quite good) but it does confuse the concept of what AI is and can do. (Most have heard the old joke: its AI until we understand it. Then its just software).

This could lead us to some dangerous places if we fail to recognize the real questions that sophisticated AI and machine learning can raise particularly from an ethical standpoint. Lumping everything into an AI bucket could make us complacent and make us think all AI is like the software vendors have called AI and hence does not raise any concerns for the legal profession or society. This is particularly an issue for lawyers since we will be on the front lines of how the law should or should not apply to AI.

f you want to get a feel for the scope of these dangers, give Amy Webb’s book The Big Nine a read.