AI In Law: Could Artificial Intelligence Disrupt The Art Of The Deal?

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Law firm Allen & Overy unveiled this week a new tool that uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) to negotiate and draw up draft contracts.

The London-based firm announced that over a thousand of its internal lawyers, along with various undisclosed clients, are utilizing ContractMatrix. This tool, developed in collaboration with Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) and OpenAI, is instrumental in creating Harvey, the company’s own legal AI start-up.

The Financial Times reported this week that ContractMatrix was used by ASML Holding NV (NASDAQ:ASML), the Dutch maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and Koninklijke Philips NV (NYSE:PHG) the Dutch healthcare electronics company, to negotiate what they called the “world’s first 100% AI-generated contract between two companies.”

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Medical And Monetary Use Cases Develop

Philips, which is a world leader in healthcare technology, has announced separately that it is working alongside AI developers to improve medical diagnostic technologies.

The company said last month: “The new innovations we're unveiling provide a fully integrated AI-enabled diagnostic approach to help improve patient outcomes, optimize workflows and maximize lifetime value for our customers.”

AI is also becoming more widely used in the asset management industry, as large-scale data sets can be more easily interpreted, while portfolios can be assembled based on more accurate risk assessments.

AI is being used to navigate the complex regulatory landscape in financial services — particularly in respect to the onboarding of clients and monitoring for fraud and money laundering.

ContractMatrix Continues Roll-Out

Allen & Overy’s negotiating tool will be rolled out to more clients in the coming weeks as the law firm seeks to drive additional revenue streams and save on costs, mainly in lost time to lengthy negotiation processes and renegotiations.

Indeed, the company said that ContractMatrix could save up to seven hours in contract negotiations. So will AI become so entrenched in the legal profession that it can replicate every element of negotiating a deal, bar the handshake?

As with other industries where AI’s text-writing capabilities are nearly indistinguishable from human-produced work, Allen & Overy has recognized it as an innovative and potentially impactful technology in the legal field, though its disruptive potential remains to be fully assessed.

The emergence of GenAI platforms employing GPT-4 technology, capable of generating news articles, advertising copy, and other media content, could potentially pose a challenge to media jobs.

Similarly, the legal field might experience uncertainties if such technological advancements lead to a decrease in lawyers’ billable hours and the potential replacement of tasks typically performed by junior staff.

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Photo: Shutterstock

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