Overworked Attorney’s Guide to Legal Automation: Five AI Skills You Need for Legal Digital Transformation

Overworked Attorney's Guide to Legal Automation: Five AI Skills You Need for Legal Digital Transformation
by Sarvarth Misra

Every day, the fundamental rules by which organizations operate are being rewritten. That is because more and more, companies are adopting and implementing artificial intelligence (AI) systems — everything from machine learning to deep insights and analytics.

But only those that fully understand — and fully take advantage of — every aspect of AI will see significant improvements in their performance. In fact, this collaboration between humans and machines will soon be paramount for organizations. So, it is a concept with which legal and other professionals should be more or less at ease. The emergence of AI, after all, is creating brand-new roles and opportunities for them, up and down the value chain. It is totally redefining the meaning of work — in the context of legal services — directly as a result.

In the coming era of AI, however, legal and other teams will need several so-called ‘fusion skills’ to achieve far better outcomes. Here are five of them, as identified and outlined in the 2018 book, Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI:

Five ‘Fusion Skills’ Needed in the Era of AI

  1. Rehumanizing time: AI is altering the nature of human-machine interactions. So rehumanizing time, in the first place, provides an opportunity to increase workers’ efficiency and effectiveness, and overall well-being. This allows for a rather skillful redirection of time toward more human activities, like increasing customer satisfaction and thinking far more strategically.By acquiring AI skills and embracing the processes legal departments can improve the exchange of knowledge between humans and AI.
  2. Responsible normalizing: Simply stated, the act of ‘normalizing’ is about shaping the very way people perceive human-machine collaborations — as they relate to workers, businesses, and industries. Naturally, this calls for a subset of other skills, including entrepreneurial.
  3. Intelligent interrogation: Humans — at this stage in our evolution — cannot look into massively complex systems or predict interactions between complicated layers of data independently. It is crucial, then, to be able to ask AI all the right questions, at many levels, to get the insights required.
  4. Reciprocal apprenticing: In the past, technological education went in a single direction: people learned how to use machines. But in the case of AI, machines learn from humans, and humans — in turn — learn again from machines. This means that anyone working in conjunction with AI would do well to serve as a “role model” to their digital colleagues. And AI systems ought to be easily trainable.
  5. Relentless reimagining: Perhaps the most fundamental hybrid skill is the ability to reimagine business operations altogether. This capability to picture how AI can transform and improve day-to-day work, business models, and whole industries enables professionals to adapt to a world changed by advanced AI technologies.

Acquiring the Right AI Skills and Embracing New Processes

By acquiring AI skills and embracing the processes, noted above, legal departments and companies can improve the exchange of knowledge between humans and artificial intelligence. In fact, the authors of In Human + Machine propose a continuous cycle of learning by both parties: “Before we rewrite the business processes, job descriptions, and business models, we need to answer these questions: What tasks do humans do best? And what do machines do best?” In many cases, what AI does best is allow professionals to be more creative and strategic in their thinking and actions. It allows them to function more like human beings and far less like machines!Those that fully understand and take advantage of every aspect of AI will see significant improvements in their performance.

At the end of the day, though, the successful reimagining of processes — across all functions of the organization — will not only be determined by whether AI is implemented, but also how it has been implemented. Those able to understand and leverage the technology’s power to augment human capability only have the proverbial sky as their limit. Those that completely disregard this human and machine collaboration, however, will inevitably be left behind.

If you are interested in learning more about legal automation, check out our other blog posts concerning the future of legal technology, and applying AI to legal and other departments. You can also learn more about the enterprise impact of unified legal platforms — those embedded with artificial intelligence — by downloading our 2021 Legal Tech Buyer’s Guide. ContractPodAi Cloud, for instance, delivers deep visibility into all legal documents. It helps in-house legal teams make their case and justify their value — in terms that really matter to corporate leadership. It helps change the perception of corporate legal from a total cost center to a true value creator.

Sarvarth Misra

 Sarvarth Misra
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