Artificial Intelligence and The Very Scary Future of Law

Track: Business of Law

Session Number: 1120
Date: Fri, Oct 27th, 2017
Time: 3:45 PM - 4:00 PM


It’s a brave new world. A whole new ballgame. “I, Robot” has already come to Law. The HAL 9000 is in charge of the ship.

IBM’s “Watson” computer that beat Jeopardy is already overhauling both health care and financial services, and it’s focused its unblinking red eye on the legal industry. It’s a game changer. 

In this presentation Ross will explain precisely how, and what to do about it -- based upon 50 hours of EXCLUSIVE in-person interviews Ross conducted with IBM's Watson Group's Global CMO. 

The legal profession’s most-specialized technical expert will have read a mere handful of the thousands of the relevant articles, tweets, blog posts, footnotes, studies, and surveys. Watson will have read and dissected all of them, however obtuse and obscure, in every language, worldwide. And it can provide detailed analysis based upon that vast knowledge.

We’ll need to define “value” differently. Much of the work from insurance companies and financial institutions, the two biggest categories of legal work, will simply disappear. There will be big winners and big losers. And many of the losers will simply vanish, surprisingly quickly.


  • Why should a national bank pay a global firm’s most-specialized expert $1,000 per hour when every small-town solo practitioner with a Lexis subscription and Internet connection has access to significantly deeper insight?
  • Why should an insurance company pay first-year associates to spend thousands of hours comparing the clauses in hundreds of similar contracts when a computer program can accomplish the same task in mere seconds, with perfect accuracy?
  • Why hire a big-firm litigator with 25 years of experience to conduct three years of intrusive discovery before settling a complex dispute, when a computer program can tell the CEO in ten seconds that there’s a 92% chance that this particular dispute will settle for $1.4-$1.55 million?
  • Why hire a skilled jury consultant to provide her best “gut” impression of each juror when Watson will be able to analyze 20 years of data points, every single Facebook or blog post, high school friends, private clubs, tax records, marriage records, and Internet search history, to calculate that there’s an 87% chance that that person will vote for the defense?

That’s the future. It’s not pie-in-the-sky science fiction or wild-eyed theory. It’s here. Now. And it’s going to profoundly change the legal profession. There will be winners and losers. The winners are those who understand that the asteroid has already hit and the landscape will be very different, very soon, and be able to adapt. The dinosaurs who are slow to adapt will die.

Most lawyers dislike change. As marketers, it’s our job to bring them up to speed on this revolutionary issue, and help them prepare for the inevitable.

It’s terrifying. But forewarned is forearmed.

With the rare insight obtained from hundreds of hours of in-person discussions with IBM Watson’s Global CMO, Ross will discuss these and other revolutionary issues.


Sub-Categorization: Business Structures and Trends
Session Type: Lecture

Sub-Categorization: Business Structures and Trends
Session Type: Lecture