Europe

My learned trend: The legal firm turning to AI for answers

Tech experts in Cyprus have come up with ‘revolutionary’ new software that should save lawyers time – and potentially cut costs to those seeking legal help.

Dubbed the ‘Legal Brain’, the software combines the best of machine-learning and Artificial Intelligence with natural language processing to create an “indispensable legal assistant”.

In short, the platform is programmed to do the legwork, thereby freeing up the valuable time of lawyers and decreasing their fees.

“We are not lawyers – we are technology guys who are fortunate enough to be working with a tech-oriented law firm,” explains the co-creator of Neolaw.ai, Constantinos Christofi. “Our objective is to make the lives of lawyers easier by bringing them closer to technology and giving them the tools to make it work for them.

“The unfortunate circumstances of the past year have highlighted the importance of technology in all our lives. For lawyers and clients, Neolaw.ai will cuts costs and, with the prospect of working from home continuing, the time-saving resources it offers are a game-changer.

“Although there are similar legal tech products all over the world, our Legal Brain tool goes one step further, and in this context it is revolutionary. We have heard of no one else doing this.”

Neolaw.ai is currently being trialled by lawyers at Elias Neocleous, and a handful of other selected law firms. As well as the Legal Brain, the platform includes informational services covering issues such as residency, trademarks and IP.

Michael Ioannou, who originally conceived the idea, said: “Legal technology exists and it’s everywhere, so there are some components of Neolaw.ai that already exist such as document drafting as per the client’s needs and requests. But the Legal Brain, as a concept, has the potential to grow and grow, and that’s unique. This really is a legal brain.”

Unlike chatbots that only deliver a set number of responses and tend to be repetitive, the Legal Brain is designed to perform as the frontman for legal enquiries. Although there is still some way to go, the intention is to input every Cypriot law into the Legal Brain, and every case related to those laws, and then train the ‘brain’ to understand how to answer any question relating to any of those laws. 

“We have until now only included 44 laws, but the potential of the Legal Brain is such that it will come to the point that it will be as easy as asking a lawyer for answers,” explained Michael.

“This is not a bot with a chat window. The Legal Brain is based on natural language understanding and natural language processing with an understanding of the content of the laws so it can give relevant answers.

“Currently in Cyprus, the bar association uses a tool that is similar to a key word document search. In contrast, with Legal Brain you can ask a question such as ‘I am renting an apartment and they want to kick me out, what can I do?’ and the ‘brain’ will provide all the relevant information from the laws of Cyprus related to the question. It feels like you are communicating with an actual person.

“At the moment, the software is aimed at making life easier for lawyers so it helps them find relevant cases to go with certain articles of the law, but there’s no reason why, in future, people needing legal advice can’t go to the Legal Brain and get the information they need before having to consult a lawyer.”

Morganne Delledonne, an expert in the emergence of disruptive technologies at investment management giant Global X, said that although the legal profession had been notoriously slow in its embrace of new technology, Neolaw.ai was treading a path well-trodden by other industries.

She said: “It’s similar to something within different sectors; healthcare, for example. With digital health, there are now very intelligent AI algorithms that are helping with the triage of patients before referring people to a real doctor. It is something that we’ll see more and more of, and across all sectors.

“It’s not surprising to see the legal side of things finally evolving in this way.”

Although Cyprus is mainly known as a holiday destination, in recent years the government has attempted to diversify the island’s portfolio, revealing regional tech hub ambitions that are starting to take shape.

In July, the European Innovation Scoreboard named Cyprus as one of the five most improved EU countries, rising by 33 per cent since 2014. The report highlighted “very strong increases” in several indicators including venture capital, broadband penetration, product innovators and SME collaboration.

George Campanellas, CEO of Invest Cyprus, said the government had been actively engaging with the island’s public and private institutions to “create a healthy environment for innovative ideas to grow and develop”.

“This forward-thinking strategy is key to Cyprus’ growing success and we are seeing more businesses and investors taking up the baton, joining the global race to digitally enhance working environments for the benefit of all,” he said.

Although Neolaw.ai is solely aimed at lawyers at this stage of its development, both Constantinos Christofi and Michael Ioannou are confident that the ultimate winner will be the public.

Constantinos said: “The legal industry hasn’t always been friends with technology and it’s quite difficult to convince lawyers of the value of it, but what we have here is a concept that will save clients and lawyers a huge amount of time.

“Neolaw.ai will guide members of the public to the legal point at which they really need to employ a lawyer. That is the intention.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button