Legal jobs will be lost to machines: expert

by Sol Dolor15 Aug 2016
Australian technology entrepreneur Anthony Goldbloom has some bad news for some lawyers: machines will be replacing you in your job.
 
The silver lining is, even if the legal profession as well as others will see a radical shift because of artificial intelligence, there’s space for machines and lawyers to co-exist.
 
In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Goldbloom said that writing and reviewing "boiler plate" legal contracts is vulnerable to automation.
 
“Given the right data, machines are going to outperform humans at tasks like this,” said Goldbloom.
 
Nonetheless, he did note that tax accountants and lawyers will still have a place in a future workforce that has AI workers as an integral part.
 
These professionals will still be needed to complete complex tax structuring, take into account a company’s circumstances and interpret legislation, he said.
 
Other workers who can worry less than robots will take over their jobs are creative and strategic professionals, the entrepreneur said.
 
Goldbloom’s TED Talk in February was recently uploaded and has since been viewed more than 430,000 times.
 
In it, he discusses machine learning and how it will take over some jobs in the future.

The jobs we'll lose to machines -- and the ones we won't | Anthony Goldbloom https://t.co/9AL3SFJOsv

— TED Tweets (@TED_Tweets) August 8, 2016

Machine learning is when computers study patterns and learn how a human does tasks. This means that if fed a large amount of data over time, machines can do as humans do and eventually replace them at certain tasks.
 
Nonetheless, Goldbloom points out that new situations or situations that machines do not have a lot of data on still stump them.
 
“Humans have the ability to connect seemingly disparate threads to solve problems we've never seen before. This puts a fundamental limit on the human tasks that machines will automate,” he said.
 
So while there are legal tasks machines will eventually take over, complex knowledge work will still need skilled lawyers to complete.

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