ELM18

When we think about AI in the legal space, it can be disconcerting to imagine law being practiced by machines. How do we know they’ll get it right, and where does it leave the lawyers who are traditionally relied upon for this work?

Vince Venturella of ELM Solutions, along with expert co-presenters Kate Browne of Swiss Re and McRae Bell of Gallagher Bassett, helped put these fears to rest in their session titled You’re a Wizard, Harry! Practical Magic and AI Made Real. Their message to lawyers working in increasingly tech-enabled legal departments was to understand that technology is there to help them – and they need not fear that it will hurt them by making them less valuable. In fact, when used correctly, technology like AI can make them more effective, and therefore more valuable, not less.

Better Results, Less Time

For example, clients want to know how likely they are to win a given case. To make that determination based on anything more concrete than a gut feeling, a lawyer would need to analyze hundreds of past cases with similar circumstances – and no client is willing to pay for that time. But a law department that leverages AI could use technology to run that analysis quickly and provide the client with a good answer that reasonably sets expectations. That’s adding more value without expending more effort.

Insurance claims departments are finding uses for AI that offer similar advantages and opportunities for efficiency and improved results. Generally, the primary goal is to mitigate costs or achieve the best resolution for a matter by following the optimal path. But the complexity of claims means there are many unknowns – that’s where data comes into play. Analysis by AI helps you determine when to intervene, which claims may be fraudulent, and what the likely outcome of litigation is. This technology is a tool that helps claims departments operate more effectively, but the expertise of the people in those departments is still as valuable as ever.

AI’s value is in taking mundane and time-consuming tasks away, not whole legal or claims jobs. As long as clients need advocates and professional partners, AI will be just a powerful tool used to serve clients better. And highly skilled professionals should be ready for the next wave of AI improvements.

History Repeats Itself

AI is relatively new, but disruptive technology has been with us throughout history. The printing press is an excellent example. While we may not think of it as advanced technology, there was a time when it caused fear because people didn’t know what to expect of the changes it would bring. But over time, as people accepted the technology, the availability of books meant that more people became literate and started writing. Eventually, books of many new subjects and genres were available and affordable to everyone, and much more information was being exchanged.

E-billing is undergoing that acceptance process now. At first, it was simply an automated way to do the same thing as more traditional paper billing and review. Then, the data it generated became a source of insight for better management decisions. Now, with greater acceptance and advancement into AI, e-billing no longer requires extensive manual review of bills. Machine learning can make low-level review decisions, and people can focus on higher level and more valuable management work.

History shows us that new technology – like AI – isn’t something to fear but rather provides tools that lead to increased productivity. As presenter McRae Bell put it, “As long as we aren’t scared of it, we can use AI in addition to our own judgment to gain greater insight.”

To learn more about AI and its role in Legal Operations, click here.

To learn more about AI and its role in Claims Litigation, click here.