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Experienced lawyers get completely thrashed by AI in legal competition

In case you haven’t noticed, machines have been consistently beating us in range of activities lately.

They recently smashed us in the ancient game of Go, and the modern masterpiece that is Ms Pac-Man.

Now, they are taking us down in the courtroom.

A new study by LawGeex pitted 20 experienced lawyers against the LawGeex AI, which was designed to solve legal problems.

The competition was to see who could spot errors in contracts with the greatest speed and accuracy. Welcome to the riveting, high-stakes world of contract law, people.

The lawyers and AI were given five non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and asked to find the errors.

Needless to say, humanity got rekt.

The human lawyers found 85% of the errors, while the AI found 94%.

And while the best human lawyer did manage to equal the AI in terms of speed, overall it was an absolute washout.

It took the humans an average of 92 minutes to get through the task using the puny, walnut-looking hunk of meat located in their skulls. The AI breezed through in 26 seconds.

Also, the lawyers drank 12 coffees, to the AI’s zero.

The American Bar Association has taken the loss well, posting this gif as a response:

Machines with something called Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) tend to do really well at stuff like this. ANI basically means an AI that is very good at one specific task.

So while LawGeex may be great at NDA’s, it would be completely screwed if you asked it how to make a sandwich. So there!

The next step in the evolutionary chain of AI is something called Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). An AGI will be able to do any intellectual task a human can do – and more.

After that comes Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI). This is the one that will be able to make other AIs that are increasingly smarter and able to do things we can’t even imagine. When people think of Skynet, they are thinking about ASI.

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But we are still a long way off from this and it’s possible that we’ll never see ASI at all.

If we do, let’s hope it has a good understanding of the law, especially the Three Laws of Robotics outlined by sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov.

The part about “not injuring humans” seems very important as AI continues to get smarter.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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