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How Long Until Machines Write Briefs?

Computers are getting really good at understanding and generating human language. For us brief-writers, it begs some questions: Can our role ever be automated? And to the extent that it can, how close are we?

I recently published an article that addresses this very subject. In it, I examine real-world technology, identify a few trends, and take a loose stab at predicting the future. As I wrote the article, I conferred with AI experts and legal-tech luminaries like Professor Ben Barton and Professor Richard Susskind. So I’m not just making this up.

The article also tackles some anticipated comments and objections:

  • “Artificial intelligence can’t generate decent prose.”

  • “Generating formulaic prose from numbers is one thing. But AI can’t reliably analyze unstructured human language and generate anything worthwhile.”

  • “The data required to train these systems is prohibitively expensive.”

  • “Computers can’t persuade.”

  • “Computers will never think like lawyers, so they can’t possibly write like lawyers.”

  • “You’ve identified a lot of separate systems that must be cobbled together, and that’s hard.”

  • “None of this will happen during my career.”

  • So are brief-writers doomed?

Check it out: “The Thing Speaks for Itself,” published in Toward Data Science.

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