Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Robot Lawyers Set for Trial Against Humans. By Lesley Stones. Business Day (Johannesburg). November 10, 2005. "Next year the Buys legal firm will find out just how popular or unpopular its lawyers actually are, when it introduces robotic rivals to its human staff. The company is developing three robots, Stacy, Dave and Nathan, to see if artificial intelligence can be as successful as the real thing. The robots will provide online legal opinions and advice to its customers early next year, says Reinhardt Buys. ... According to AI Expert Systems at the University of Texas, artificial intelligence (AI) technology will let computers autonomously reason with the law to draw legal conclusions. The head of that team, Selmer Bringsjort, says: 'Our intuition is that people won't mind in the least if their lawyers are empowered by artificial colleagues -- quite the contrary, if they are the beneficiaries of quicker turnaround time, lower legal fees and higher quality work.'"

2005-"Susskind predicts that by 2015 legal services will be largely commoditised and for most commercial purposes clients will get the bulk of their legal advice online from expert systems, maintained and honed to near-perfect reliability by teams of lawyers. In the corporate environment firms will sell their knowledge, first and fore-most, and the traditional hand-holding role played by lawyers will take a back seat. Solicitors at many firms would be faced with tough career choices: go into rainmaking and business development; focus on knowledge-building and support or quality-checking online services; stick to advocacy and representation; or re-train and find a different job.

Sounds like a scenario straight out of Marshall Brain's Robotic Nation.

Nobody ever gives this much thought... yet.

But what's going to happen when AI-systems and robots start taking over jobs of which we first thought that they required so-called 'human creativity'? What happens when AI keeps nibbling at the bottom of the job-ladder, and makes its way up to where humans start having trouble keeping up?

This is exactly what's happening right now.

For example, have a look at these autonomous cars.

If I were a chauffeur, or a pilot for that matter, I'd definately be worried about being out of a job in the coming years."


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