Smart, time-saving computers are quickly elevating many professions. Instead of employing dozens of assistants to sort through endless paperwork, many companies are turning towards AI machines to perform routine tasks. Lawyer robots are creating a future in which the legal system becomes less costly and more efficient. However, there is a spoon of tar in this honey jar.

Robots vs. Humans

Russia's biggest bank, Sberbank, has recently announced a launch of a robot lawyer which will be assigned a task to process letters of complaints. This innovation will result in the axing of approximately 3000 specialists currently working in the bank structure.

According to Vadim Kulik, deputy chairman of the Executive Board at Sberbank, robot lawyer was launched in Q4 of 2016, with full robotization to be completed in the first months of 2017. He said:

“It means that approximately 3000 specialists who have been processing letters of complaints will be freed from performing this particular task. We have quite ambitious plans. We are planning to launch robot lawyers in a range of fields.”

Kulik explained that the innovation will relieve bank’s specialists from routine tasks. Looking into the future, he said that eventually the processing of all routine legal documentation will be automatized, allowing lawyers to deal only with serious legal procedures.

All specialists that have performed the routine legal jobs will be offered to take special training courses. As Kulik mentioned, it is important to re-evaluate “how we can apply their skills and where.”

The replacement will not happen immediately, but the process will be stretched over time.

Cointelegraph reached out to Sberbank for more information.

From appealing parking tickets to handling bankruptcy cases

It seems that AI-enabled software will soon become something very normal. Not long ago ROSS Intelligence deployed the ROSS software in several law firms around the US. Lawyer ROSS is using the supercomputing power of IBM Watson to process massive streams of data, eventually learning to adjust its performance to serve customers better. The software is sorting tasks, which normally take hours for humans, in a matter of seconds. BakerHostetler was one of the first firms to “employ” ROSS to handle bankruptcy cases.

When AI-enabled software enters the game, some employees are sure to lose their jobs, however, the benefits of deploying robots are obvious for both a business and its clients. For instance, in the US 80 percent of people who need a lawyer can’t afford one. By using lawyers like ROSS, law firms can charge lower fees for their services.

Here is one more example of artificial intelligence software disrupting the way people handle legal issues.

In 2015, 19-year-old Stanford undergraduate Joshua Browder released a chatbot calledDoNotPay which allows people to appeal unfair parking tickets without forking over hundreds of dollars in legal fees, which, in many cases, can be more expensive than just paying the ticket.

Tech sweeping away traditional law practices

Theoretically, artificial intelligence could invade the area of big law. Programs like ROSS and DoNotPay are able to learn and become more sophisticated with time. The more cases the software processes, the better it gets at correcting mistakes, eventually performing better than big teams of humans. However, persuading both courts and lawyers of that is going to take a long time.

Large segments of practice have already fallen to automation and process improvement. Document review, legal research and document drafting are getting increasingly automated nowadays. Another technology has the potential to sweep away traditional legal practices.

Right, I am talking about Blockchain. It is not just a core supporting digital currencies, it is a foundation for smart contracts – contracts that do not need page after page of small print, or lawyers who write the small print or the courts enforcing them.

Businesses and institutions embracing the technology revolution and seeing tech innovations as key enablers for progress will be able to gain a huge competitive advantage. It is only a matter of time before organizations begin to link existing expertise with emerging and developing technologies and prioritize the opportunities that add more value.

Customers’ demands are changing, so do the employee behaviors and requirements. Many sectors are being impacted by technology, how they adapt and respond to the opportunities and threats offered by it remains to be seen.

In some cases, Blockchain and AI could either enable or entirely replace the whole variety of specialists, removing the need for trusted intermediaries and enabling a system of open, transparent and direct interaction.