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ALPHAGO VERSUS LEE SEDOL AND WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE LEGALTECH INDUSTRY

Posted By Annelore van der Lint, CEDS, Thursday, July 26, 2018

Last February, the ACEDS Benelux Chapter screened the exciting documentary “AlphaGo” in Pathé Tuschinski, in Amsterdam. This award-winning film shows Artificial Intelligence’s greatest victory to date: the triumph of Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo over Lee Sedol, the world champion in Go. On May 16, the Benelux Chapter will show the documentary in Cinema Palace in Brussels.

Go is seen as the hardest game in the world. The number of possible moves in the ancient Chinese board game Go is larger than the number of molecules in the universe. Playing Go is very intuitive and for long, it was deemed impossible to teach to a computer. By analyzing thousands of games, supported by human experts, AlphaGo learned to play the game.

In March 2016, it came to an ultimate meeting between Go and AI in South Korea. Millions of people around the world watched as the legendary Go Master Lee Sedol faced an unproven AI-challenger in a “best-of-five” competition for the very first time in history.

AI for the legal market

The successes of AI travel beyond the world of games. Companies rely on AI-techniques to accelerate business processes and make them more efficient. In the legal world AI is already being used to great extend in investigations related to competition & anti-truct investigations, Mergers & Acquisitions, bribery or financial fraud investigations, or international arbitrations and litigation.

In the judiciary, self-learning computers quickly search and analyze large amounts of textual data. By “reading”, analyzing and organizing case files or jurisprudence, a computer can extract the core data and start to reasoning with it. In theory, a computer is perfectly capable to predict the verdict in certain legal cases, select the best lawyer and, according to Professor Jaap van den Herik, a intelligent computer program will soon be able to replace a judge in easy cases.

Too much data and cognitive limitations

We can no longer deny that there simply is too much data in various legal applications. Every search, no matter how good, generates too many documents to view. You never know exactly what you get or what you miss. You do not know exactly what to look for and make mistakes or deviate. And searching data is time-consuming, boring and tedious work.

We humans have cognitive limitations when processing large amounts of data. We are simply not equipped to successfully synthesize large volumes of data. AI-technology is needed for the analysis and interpretation of facts in these large data sets. This is the only way to manage and reduce the workload and continue to deliver the quality expected of a lawyer or counsel. Success always starts with an understandable presentation of the facts. Even if those facts are hidden in that huge mountain of data.

Automation offers a solution

You can learn a machine to discover patterns and connections in large datasets. A classification system is trained on so-called training data. New pieces of data are then classified based on (latent) patterns that have been discovered in the training data. After enough training, it will eventually be possible to predict the behavior of new data. This way, you can train a computer to organize and analyze documents.

Especially in eDiscovery, AI techniques have proven themselves. Here, scientific research consistently shows that AI is not only faster than human review, but also more cost-effective. They are also much better, so it also makes sense for legal professionals to use this technology to offer better quality service and make more strategic decisions.

We would like to achieve this with as little manually labelled training data as possible, as was the case with AlphaGo. This is exactly why the LegalTech industry has such interest in intelligent search and machine learning!

Tags:  AI  eDiscovery  LegalTech 

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