Robot Joins Law Firm to Help with Bankruptcy Cases
BakerHostetler Uses Robot For Bankruptcy Research
A robot recently joined the bankruptcy practice of BakerHostetler for the kind of research jobs normally done by new attorneys.
The robot is called ROSS, a brainchild of IBM to speed up the work of attorneys who otherwise could get bogged down in trying to spot the right issues in their cases and preparing briefs.
ROSS can read text and understand spoken language as it gleans through an entire body of law to answer questions. The robot also learns from experience, theoretically improving its responses to attorneys after each case it handles.
The 900-attorney BakerHostetler is the first U.S. law firm to use the ROSS system. Its bankruptcy section operates with about 50 attorneys.
The Artificial Intelligence system also is designed to update its users on new court rulings.
IBM based the ROSS system on its Watson computer, which the company says learns like humans but with far more capacity for retaining information.
However, ROSS also is creating questions about whether a machine will now replace the humans who perform similar jobs in law firms.
The World Economic Forum, a public policy group, says Artificial Intelligence could make as many as 7.1 million jobs obsolete in the next five years, most of them in white collar and administrative positions.