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Modern day legal technology is being ushered in with some confusing terminology.  If your head is spinning as you try to decipher the wording associated with legal tech advances, you are not alone.  In particular, the terminology relating to artificial intelligence is especially difficult to understand. From machine learning to analytics, augmented intelligence, natural language processing and beyond, there are plenty of terms, many of which mean something similar.  Here is a brief look at some of the more commonly used terms.

 

 

Analytics

 

Analytics is not the same as artificial intelligence (AI).  However, the two overlap in some areas.  Analytics is information pulled from data by way of analysis.  Advanced analytics involves the structuring and analysis of massive amounts of data.  The overarching aim of advanced analytics applications is to make such large amounts of information searchable so users can find exactly what they are looking for without delay.  Advanced analytics tools and techniques are sometimes confused with AI as similar tools are used in some AI applications.  In the context of the law, analytics is he helpful in that assists attorneys in their quest to make the best possible decisions backed by legitimate data.  This is different from AI applications in which tasks and language analysis are automated.

 

 

AI

 

In general, AI is a series of technologies meant to conduct tasks that were once limited to human intelligence or movement.  AI is rising in prominence in stock trading, autonomous vehicles, speech and image recognition, robotics and beyond.  In regard to law firms, numerous tech applications are in use that use AI to ameliorate tasks such as e-discovery and legal research.  AI makes it easier for lawyers to attain faster and better results.  Each AI application is zeroed in on completing a nuanced computational task as opposed to a series of tasks.  AI has advanced to the point that it can mine massive data sets to pinpoint drafting errors and predict the outcomes for legal motions and even lawsuits.

 

 

Cognitive Computing and Augmented Intelligence

 

Augmented intelligence is a reference to the technology that makes up AI. However, this definition is also valuable in that it drives people away from the idea that AI copies human consciousness.  Cognitive computing is also used in place of augmented intelligence yet there is no formal definition of the term.  The point of emphasis seems to be the primary difference.  Those in favor of cognitive computing focus on the value of the interaction between machines and humans.

 

Think of cognitive computing as humans benefiting from human computer interactions while artificial or augmented intelligence is more about machines performing things with information to improve the human condition.  Though none of these technologies will replace attorneys, these tools are making it that much easier to streamline your daily routines. Tools are making it that much easier to practice law in an efficient and accurate manner.