Do Lawyers Dream of Electric Sheep?

If you were feeling cocky that your job wasn’t going to be taken over by 1’s and 0’s, you may want to think again. About a week ago, the law firm, Baker & Hostetler, just “hired” an Artificial Intelligence, Ross, to be an attorney for their bankruptcy practice. I wonder if he’d ever dress up as an Holiday Armadillo for the office Christmas party.

Every week we see something new happening with Artificial Intelligence and computers when it relates to the job market. Fast food restaurants have been responding to the increasing minimum wage with automated kiosks to order your food. Self driving cars continue to get better at navigating the world, with commercial vehicles making cross country trips to delivering our goods. Human beings are slowly, but surely being replaced by these robot overlords, and I’m sure few people ever figured these more intensive careers, like law & medicine, could ever be done competently by s computer. Ross, apparently, begs to differ.

It should be no surprise that computers can think faster than a human, and Ross not only thinks faster, but has the ability to ask questions, read documents to disseminate information, and learn from experience. All Ross is missing is a body. It’s all Watson’s fault really. Ever since he won Jeopardy, he thinks he has a run of the whole place, with his digital brain and quick answers. And as a result, Ross was born from that Watson architecture, and now Ross has a job.

Currently there are no plans to start replacing living lawyers with computerized ones. You won’t be seeing Ross in court, defending a client. But he will be the law office’s best friend, as it provides up to the minute information on court rulings, have knowledge of all known laws and legal cases, and will be available any time, day or night. Ross also, technically, cannot be bought off, swayed, or threatened, like all those times you see on all those legal shows. They also can’t become a Marvel vigilante either, which is a bummer.

So next time you fight the law, and the law wins, well, now you know why.

UPDATE-ish – Another AI is doing human work – Pepper the Robot just got a job at Pizza Hut in Asia. It’s HAPPENING!!

Its Happening

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Francis Fernandez
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