New AI products focus legal minds on privacy — and costs

August is traditionally a quiet month for announcements but, this year, it was awash with news from law firms, big-tech businesses and service providers about innovations that promise to transform legal work. All intend to harness generative artificial intelligence and machine learning software, applying those technologies as part of so-called large language models (LLMs). These can analyse and produce plausible text, images, or code in response to plain-language prompts.

All the new tools promise to tackle some of the lawyers’ most laborious tasks with greater ease and speed. For example, they can compare and analyse contracts for key clauses, summarise compliance rules, and rewrite complex regulations in layperson’s vernacular. Their time-saving potential has raised expectations that they will transform — and also, perhaps, take away — much of lawyers’ day-to-day work.

However, amid this flurry of system launches and upgrades, many law firms remain hesitant about how and when to jump on the AI bandwagon.

“Data privacy compliance is usually not built into LLMs,” he notes. “While they are trained on billions of parameters, they are not necessarily legal compliance or data privacy parameters.”

Thomas Pfennig Bayer

Also, the initial exclusivity of the invitations to participate in big-tech groups’ LLM pilots, and their subsequent high-priced retail offers, have prevented some lawyers from becoming early adopters. The extra costs of the computer hardware needed to operate these AI systems could also be a short-term financial deterrent.

Source: Financial Times






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