Robots are taking our jobs once again – or rather, helping us do our job a little bit better. Law firm Baker & Hostetler has announced that they are employing IBM’s AI Ross to help with their bankrupcy practice. Ross will work in a team of almost 50 other lawyers.
Ross, “the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney” built on IBM’s cognitive computer Watson. It (he?) was designed to read and understand language and then postulate hypotheses – along with references and citations. IBM describes Ross:
ROSS is an artificially intelligent attorney to help you power through legal research. ROSS improves upon existing alternatives by actually understanding your questions in natural sentences like – “Can a bankrupt company still conduct business?”
Ross’ capabilities make him extremely attractive. Most notably, he answers questions in concrete, easy to understand terms (for people in the legal business). Ross can also:
- Provide you a highly relevant answer, not 1000s of results, to your question posed in natural language, not keywords.
- Monitor the law for changes that can positively/negatively affect your case, instead of flooding you with legal news.
- Learn the more you and other lawyers use it.
- Offer a simple, consistent experience across all your devices and form factors.
Essentially, Ross is an advanced research tool. It won’t go into court to support its case, but it will do something that other lawyers and assistants have done for years – and much faster. It will also continue to improve its methods and approach, learning from rulings and trial outcomes. The fact that it is trusted by Baker & Hostetler, one of the largest law firms in the world, says a lot. IBM says that other law companies have also signed up to use Ross, but none has made it public.