Speaking recently to a friend, who is an attorney at law, he expressed a certain amount of doubt, even fear that artificial intelligence is a threat to his relevance. It is of course a valid concern…that is if another informed point of view is expressed otherwise.
It all started when I told him of a story which I read recently of law firms adopting Artificial Intelligence to augment their business capabilities and processes. My friend was of the belief that such technology might make him less worthy as a person, with the technology replacing him. Of course, I simply had to interject with the other side of the equation, pardon the expression which may seem linear, I suppose.
Legal practitioners are faced with the daunting tasks of researching, assimilating, developing insights and presenting cogent arguments that can affect people’s lives on a daily basis. Faced with huge amounts of legal literature to deal with, lawyers are often called upon at short notice to develop and present arguments to support their positions, to give advice and guide the legal process to try to ensure that justice is served. In many cases, their input is critical, as in times where very serious punishment is involved, such as execution. Lawyers are called upon to take their knowledge, Commitment and passion to the extreme limits, often pushing the boundaries further and further. These critical junctures requires accurate and relevant research at a moments notice.
Accuracy, in the context of relevant case law, demands every possibility be referenced and considered.
It is in the instance of the legal profession, Artificial Intelligence can be a huge benefit to the efficacy of the legal profession, without rendering anyone useless. Even at the lowest rung of the ladder in the hierarchy of the profession, effectiveness and efficiency can be greatly enhanced, thus making work a better experience, when one considers the stresses involved in high pressure, high volume environments.
At all levels, judgement and intellect is required to discern correctness, accuracy and relevance and veto, even when the results are narrowed to the least expandable level. The human judgement is needed, and simply cannot be reduced to irrelevance.
The same can be held for many occupations, professions and vocations. The technology will enhance and uplift.
The fear of the human being made irrelevant and replaceable has to be measured against the need for tacit knowledge, obtained through the acquisition of knowledge through academic endeavor and practice, giving rise to experiential knowledge, disseminated through wisdom.
The fireman or policeman removed from going into a dangerous, life threatening situation by an intelligent device, perhaps a robot or a drone to survey and report back are all possibilities like any other hazardous jobs, but will always require the immediate response of a discernible intellect.
People should embrace technology for what it is and meant to be : a tool for the benefit to humankind!