Winter 2019 Gavel Gavel Winter 2019 - Page 9

One ethics expert posed the problem this way: “What if the lawyer using AI, in his or her unintentional lack of knowledge of how to use the technology, feeds the wrong data, and asks the wrong question? What is the effect? The wrong answer will result. But will anyone know it is wrong?” 10 For an attorney to fulfill the ethical duty of technological competence in such situations, he or she must be able to recognize problems and know when data input or output needs to be adjusted. 1. Dan Mangan, “Lawyers could be the next profession to be replaced by computers,”, February 17, 2017, available at artificial-intelligence.html. So, can computers replace lawyers? The short answer is, yes, some of them. The longer – and more important – answer, though, is that new technologies, especially artificial intelligence, are changing the face of legal practice. While some jobs will likely be lost, others will be created, and still others will be transformed. Where a legal task can be done more efficiently, accurately, and effectively through automation, it will eventually be automated; it would be foolish to think otherwise. 5. Amit Chowdhry, “Law firm BakerHostetler hires a ‘digital attorney’ named ROSS,” Forbes. com, May 17, 2016, available at firm-bakerhostetler-hires-a-digital-attorney-named-ross/#9b29abd78c46. Yet lawyers who are ready, willing, and able to embrace the new technology need not fear. Yes, ready or not, artificial intelligence and other technologies are transforming the practice of law. But the future of legal practice doesn’t belong to computers, it belongs to the lawyers who will understand and harness these technologies to the benefit of their clients. 2. Stephanie Mlot, “AI beats human lawyers at their own game,”, February 26, 2018, available at 3. Paul Rawlinson, “Will lawyers become extinct in the age of automation?,” World Economic Forum, March 29, 2018, available at become-extinct-in-the-age-of-automation/. 4. Sharon D. Nelson, Running With The Machines: Artificial Intelligence in the Practice of Law, 78- Dec Or. St. B. Bull. 22, 26 (December 2017). 6. See Chowdhry, supra note 4, at 24. 7. Id. 8. Id. 9. Robert Ambrogi, “This Week in Legal Tech: Ethics and Technology Competence,”, July 11, 2016, available at tech-ethics-and-technology-competence/. 10. Wendy Wen Yu Chang, “Time to Regulate AI in the Legal Profession?,” July 12, 2016, https:// FAMILY LAW MEDIATORS Experienced. Balanced. Patient. Zimney Foster P.C. Offices in Grand Forks and Fargo (701) 772-8111 Carol Johnson Cassandra Marka WINTER 2019 9