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Tag: Law Society of Singapore

The Use of Chatbots as a Way to Create a Two-Step Approach to Providing Legal Services: Case Study: LRD Colloquium Vol. 1 (2020/06)

Reading time: 16 minutes

Written by Elizaveta Shesterneva*

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Law Society of Singapore as part of its Legal Research and Development Colloquium 2020. It has been re-published with the permission of the Law Society of Singapore and the article’s authors. Slight adaptations and reformatting changes have been made for readability.

ABSTRACT

Chatbots have already been deployed by law firms and Legal Technology (‘LegalTech’) start-ups to perform some law-related activities as a way to provide better assistance to clients. The widespread use of chatbots may further deepen existing issues relating to the scope of legal functions chatbots undertake, the unauthorised practice of law and the competitiveness in the legalsector. This paper examines the aforementioned issues and suggests a two-step approach to providing legal services which incorporate the use of chatbots with help from qualified attorneys. The goal of the suggested two-step approach is an attempt at a peaceful collaboration between technology and legal professionals, where the use of chatbots do not threaten the ‘status-quo’ of qualified persons, but rather, encourages further innovation in the legal profession.

The Evolution of Legal Ethics with the Advent of Legal Technology: LRD Colloquium Vol. 1 (2020/06)

Reading time: 18 minutes

Written by Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen* and Lee Ji En**

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Law Society of Singapore as part of its Legal Research and Development Colloquium 2020. It has been re-published with the permission of the Law Society of Singapore and the article’s authors. Slight adaptations and reformatting changes have been made for readability.

ABSTRACT

The advent of new technologies has presented (i) legal technological tools which assist lawyers in dispensing legal services (e.g. Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’)-powered eDiscovery, contract review and legal research tools); and (ii) technologies which shaped the type of legal services lawyers offer or adopt (e.g. smart contracts, online and decentralised dispute resolution).

This paper explores the scope and extent of ethical duties that should be imposed on practitioners in terms of (i) the duty to advise clients on new technologies that would facilitate the best running of their cases; (ii) the duty to advise clients on considering the existence of these new legal services and adopting them in their work products; and (iii) the duty to ensure that the tools used comply with the necessary ethical and professional standards.

The Epistemic Challenge Facing the Regulation of AI: LRD Colloquium Vol. 1 (2020/07)

Reading time: 25 minutes

Written by Josh Lee* and Tristan Koh**

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Law Society of Singapore as part of its Legal Research and Development Colloquium 2020. It has been re-published with the permission of the Law Society of Singapore and the article’s authors. Slight adaptations and reformatting changes have been made for readability.

ABSTRACT

The increased interest in artificial intelligence (‘AI’) regulation stems from increased awareness about its risks. This suggests the need for a regulatory structure to preserve safety and public trust in AI. A key challenge, however, is the epistemic challenge. This paper posits that to effectively regulate the development and use of AI (in particular, deep learning systems), policymakers need a deep understanding of the technical underpinnings of AI technologies and the ethical and legal issues arising from its adoption. Given that AI technologies will impact many sectors, the paper also explores the challenges of applying AI technologies in the legal industry as an example of industry-specific epistemic challenges. This paper also suggests possible solutions: the need for interdisciplinary knowledge, the introduction of baseline training in technology for legal practitioners and the creation of a corps of allied legal professionals specialising in the implementation of AI.

Disruptive Legal Technologies – Is Ethics Catching Up?

Reading time: 6 minutes

Written by Alvin Chen and Stella Chen (Law Society of Singapore)

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the August 2018 issue of the Singapore Law Gazette, the official publication of the Law Society of Singapore. Reproduced with permission.

In December 2017, DeepMind, a leading AI company, sent ripples through the AI world when it announced that it had developed a computer program (known as “AlphaGoZero” or “AlphaZero”) which learned the rules of three games – chess, Shogi and Go – from scratch and defeated a world-champion computer program in each game within 24 hours of self-learning.1 What was remarkable about DeepMind’s achievement was the program’s “tabula rasa” or clean slate approach which did not refer to any games played by human players or other “domain knowledge”.2 Yet, DeepMind’s program was able to develop an unconventional and some say, uncanny,3 methodology in surpassing current computer understanding of how to play the three games.

Referring to an earlier version of DeepMind’s program (“AlphaGo”) which defeated the (human) world champion in Go in 2016, the legal futurist Richard Susskind considers such innovative technologies to be “disruptive”. In his international bestseller Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future (“Tomorrow’s Lawyers“)Susskind defined “disruptive” as something that would “fundamentally challenge and change conventional habits”.4

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