Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seen significant advancements in recent years. As early as 2016, Google’s AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol, the world Go champion, and outperformed humans in complex video games. Today, it’s ChatGPT and other generative AI forms that stand out: ChatGPT set the record for the fastest-growing AI! Only two months after its launch, 170 million people worldwide had already used it. AlphaGo was impressive, but it didn’t change the world in the way ChatGPT did, reaching an inflection point almost instantly. Why? Because ChatGPT doesn’t require specialized skills and is easily accessible.
ChatGPT has unlocked the Pandora’s box of generative artificial intelligence. Since then, a plethora of generative AIs have emerged on the market, like Bard (Google), Claude (Anthropic), Llama (Meta), and Ernie Bot (the Chinese ChatGPT launched by Baidu). These advancements have been lauded by prestigious publications, with Time featuring them in its September 7th issue on the 100 most influential AI personalities.
This revolution is just beginning. Like any technology, generative AI goes through various stages: discovery, confronting ethical and functional challenges, regulation, and then professional adoption and integration.
Some industries have already caught on and are hopping aboard. However, the legal industry in France hasn’t yet undergone its transformation.
We’ve recently seen “prompt engineer” roles opening in law firms, like at Mishcon de Reya in London, the launch of Allen & Overy’s chatbot Harvey, and a partnership between Predictice and the Squair firm to develop a research and writing tool based on a corpus of 25 million legal documents. Yet, firms haven’t truly grasped the magnitude of this revolution or how to anticipate and utilize it within their organization.
It’s not just lawyers who’ll be affected but all the supporting roles in firms: primarily marketing and communication, followed by administrative functions like finance and HR.
AI is set to radically transform work methods. With it, firms will now have a precious productivity tool. The challenge isn’t to fear this evolution, but to embrace it. Professor Richard Baldwin of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, recently stated regarding AI: “AI won’t take your job; it’s someone using AI who’ll take your job.” The real threat isn’t the technology itself but how organizations and their members exploit it. Those who adapt and learn to incorporate AI in their professions will likely have a head start, while those who resist or oppose might find themselves at a disadvantage. Adaptability and continuous training will be the keys to success in this new era.
Generative AI tools are more than just a way to automate tasks and free up time. Among other things, they allow summarizing lengthy texts, generating content ideas, synthesizing research to highlight key points, efficiently retrieving sources and data on specific subjects, translating in all languages, and overcoming writer’s block in drafting various texts (emails, posts, publications, etc.). These improvements are available now, not in the future, for those willing to learn to use them!
“We shape our tools, and thereafter they shape us,” declared John Culkin, an American communications professor at Fordham University in New York. Generative AI will transform and mold the law firms of tomorrow.
There’s an urgent need to train lawyers, marketing and communication staff, and newcomers starting their professional careers in these solutions. It’s crucial to identify the tools and implement them within firms. Instead of fearing these practical and value-adding solutions, let’s have faith in our professions and use them to our advantage!