Friday, September 30, 2016

ROSS – Artificial Intelligent Lawyer

IBM Watson - Home of ROSS
Earlier this week I heard about ROSS for the first time from the brilliant Snorri Ogata of the Los Angeles Superior Court at the NAPCO Conference in Cleveland.  So I had to learn more…

In June last year, ROSS Intelligence started development of their artificial intelligent lawyer system.  This system applies the famous IBM Watson technology to people to ask it direct questions in natural language.  The system then uses it’s A.I. engine to translate the questions into legal information.

In a white paper “Artificial Intelligence Systems and the Law” that is available at their website (after registration) they explain:

“We break AI into four categories: Machine learning, natural language processing, vision and speech.

  • Machine learning describes a system that can take data points, process them to improve performance at completing a task, and then loop that process to continue doing the task while continuously improving. 
  • Natural language processing is when a computer can understand human language. The computer can interpret what a human actually means — deciphering intent and therefore providing more accurate and relevant answers and search results.
  • Vision is the computer having the ability to interpret images, identify them and describe them, which is a task humans perform automatically. 
  • Speech is a system like Siri that can speak and interpret oral language, so you can have a back-and-forth interaction."

That is all well and good but another article from “Inside ROSS: What Artificial Intelligence Means for Your Firm” (by Susan Beck, September 28, 2016) explains what this means.  It quotes lawyer Patrick Greeley who said that “(i)f he types in the phrase “Write me a memo” in front of a search question, ROSS will deliver a memo on the topic in by email.”

This is what we would call a“killer feature”.  And understand that with the A.I. engine, it will get better the more it is used.

I can see application for the courts as one of the biggest challenges is providing services for self-represented litigants.  And I think that your can see that ROSS has the potential to be helpful to judges and clerks as well.  It  is certainly something to monitor and to think about in and for the future..

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