Will artificial intelligence replace humans in performing their jobs?

The surge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions has thrust us into a world of possibilities, where innovation and automation have redefined our daily lives. Whether we’re posing simple questions to AI chatbots, or tapping into the intricate abilities of large language models, these experiences seamlessly enhance how we share information and ideas, as well as how we work.

How AI is transforming the legal industry

Lawyers are quite a skeptical bunch by nature – we are meticulous and risk-averse, and, thus, we approach new technologies with caution. But, as part of one of the largest venture builders in Southeast Asia, I am constantly exposed to an environment that normalizes learning and exploring new technologies. In building our digital solutions, we examine how technology, like AI, can be harnessed for different use cases. Rather than fearing new technologies, we embrace it. This way of thinking is what has allowed me to see how AI can further revolutionize the legal profession.

In private practice and in the day-to-day work of an in-house lawyer, the sole act of researching can take up hours and hours of our time. After our research is done, we spend even more time consolidating information and forming strategies, legal positions, and arguments.

Interestingly enough, the Philippines’ Supreme Court had already started to explore using artificial intelligence as far back as 2022 with the intention of improving court operations and allowing researchers easier access to the Judiciary E-library.

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo once addressed legal researchers in a 2023 convention in Zamboanga City, and said, Today I call on you to fully embrace technology in this undertaking and in the performance of your duties. Harness it to work more efficiently and expeditiously and invest in the skills and resources needed to enable the shift that we envision.” 

This progressive thinking gives me hope that problems like delayed justice and court congestion will be solved.

AI tools, especially large language models, excel in retaining and processing subject matter knowledge. They can quickly analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and provide insights while enhancing accuracy and reducing errors. Applying these enhancements to legal work allows us to focus more on thinking strategically, solving complex problems, and giving the best advice to our clients.

By understanding the strengths of generative AI and large language models, we are able to maximize the opportunities for these technologies to integrate into our work.

The value of human experience in digital enablement

Even with the excitement surrounding AI and its possibilities, there is still fear about its potential impact on jobs. The burning question remains: With all its capabilities and potential, will AI eventually phase out human workers altogether?

It’s important to remember that our work as lawyers cannot and will not become obsolete with the introduction of these kinds of tools. Instead, they allow us to focus on the more human aspects of legal practice. Connecting and working with clients, working with our teams, counterparties, stakeholders, and regulators, and using our experience to guide a case or a transaction – these are things that no tool or piece of technology can ever do.

By automating processes and giving us the space to think more clearly, we will be able to assess cases more holistically and look at all possible outcomes with fairer judgment. Beyond being guardians of the law, we become guardians of the human experience in the justice system.

Creating solutions and navigating opportunities

At 917Ventures, we’ve already begun developing different AI-powered solutions, including  Amicus, a large language model tool designed to support legal professionals by granting them easy access to Philippine jurisprudence and resources to help streamline legal research.

In developing Amicus and other AI solutions, we’ve seen firsthand the potential of AI to revolutionize industries and catalyze positive change when integrated thoughtfully into our lives. AI’s transformative power can catapult us into a new age where technology not only enables, but also empowers, our work. It can unleash so much for us, being a tool that can only enhance what we do and how we interact with one another.

Will it replace humans? We certainly don’t think so. In the end, there will never be a replacement for human creativity, empathy, and rational thinking. Ultimately, it is up to us to safeguard the harmony between advancing digital enablement and digital empowerment.

Atty. Jill Genio is Head of Legal, 917Ventures.

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