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Tomorrow's Lawyers: first look; can AI be 'creative'?

Super rainy day in London forced me into using an umbrella, the device which I despise. This is how you know the weather is really bad.

Anyways I have been reading a very practical and somehwat 'narrowly specialised' book Tomorrow's Lawyers by Richard Susskind. Richard is a real expert and the landmark authority in the intersection of law and tech. The book provides a fresh view at the issues that AI presents to legal industry. I come from a legal background myself and work in the legal sector (intellectual property) so the book resonates with me. The author generally dives into discussing where the sector is heading and what can young lawyers do now to put themselves in the best position to succeed.

The major premise of the book seems to be a suggestion that law firms need to start doing 'more for less'. Companies are less and less willing to pay hefty legal fees yet demand more and more work. When unpacking the idea, Richard argues that the concept of 'billing hours' has to be replaced by something more efficient, such as payment for the value provided.

Along with the general narrative, law tech innovations such as online dispute resolution, online legal guidance and machine predictions of the case results are crisply introduced. I found this very useful for myself not to seem foolish in the company of the modern and trendy 'tech' lawyers. The bit that I highlight here and on my Instagram is referring to a famous win of a machine against the human champion of a complex game of Go. The move that the AI machine made are here described as 'creative'. The term is used to discuss not just human thinking but the 'next level' of it - an ability to think in an original manner.

I am of the opinion that it is debatable whether machines are yet truly creative. Even with advanced machine learning, a machine cannot be creative in the same way as humans are. Creativity requires a degree of innovation and somewhat unique approach. A programmed algorithm, however smart, doesn't seem to meet that standard.

That being said, perhaps there is a need to change the perception of what it means to be creative. One can then distinguish between the machine-like creativity and the human-like one.

Just my 7 cents...

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