The World Now Has Its First Robotic Lawyer

If this trend catches on, "We were on a break" might not be the first thing you think of when you hear the name "Ross."

Ross Intelligence, created by IBM, could transform the way we think about lawyers. The company is using artificial intelligence to produce AI lawyers — and one law firm has already hired a ROSS model.

Baker Hostetler, a law firm with 14 offices across the country, has signed a license to work with Ross, "the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney." The AI lawyer will work with the firm's bankruptcy practice, according to Futurism.

The outlet reports that ROSS, which is built using Watson, IBM's cognitive computer, can read and understand language, conduct research, propose hypotheses when you ask it questions, and can generate responses — complete with proper references and citations — to support its conclusions. Just like a real lawyer, but way, way faster.

Exactly how much faster? The Ross intelligence website claims the model can "mine facts and conclusions from over a billion of these text documents a second." It sounds like every law student's dream. The AI lawyer can also apparently provide 24-hour updates on new court rulings that could affect a case currently being studied. (This development, as Quartz notes, could be a welcome reprieve for young hires stuck with the "drudgery" of this kind of legal research.)

Check out IBM's video about Watson's technology below.
Hopefully this kind of robotic lawyer can help reduce costly legal fees for those of us hiring lawyers — but that's probably wishful thinking.

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