The AI Lawyer Starts Billing Hours


What it means and why it’s a good thing for the legal community and society.

By Brooks Lindsay

You may have heard recently about the development of the artificial intelligence (AI) lawyer, “ROSS” by the creators of IBM’s Watson. Well, the synthetic lawyer was just hired by law firm Baker & Hostetler. This post attempts to explain what the AI lawyer is, what it can do, how it will change the legal community, and why it’s good for the legal community and society.

ROSS is built on IBM’s cognitive computer Watson, a supercomputer that recently strutted its stuff by beating Jeopardy phenom Ken Jennings. The AI lawyer is capable of reading and understanding language, generating thoughtful legal analysis, synthesizing thousands of case results into precise answers, postulating legal hypotheses, and providing citations along the way. It can also monitor legal news and notify attorneys when, for example, a favorable ruling is delivered on a relevant case.

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