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‘Artificial intelligence will shape the future of legal practice in Nigeria’

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Managing Director, Law Pvilion, Mr. Ope Olugasa.

Mr. Ope Olugasa, Managing Director, Grace Infotech, owners of LawPavilion Business Solutions, Nigeria’s foremost legal technologies company in this interview with JOSEPH ONYEKWERE pledges to release the first Artificial Intelligence Legal Assistant software at the NBA conference.

We have known LawPavilion to have a penchant for spearheading innovations in the legal technologies industry in Nigeria.

In 2016, you launched Nigeria’s first Legal Analytics Software, LawPavilion Prime at the 56th Annual General Conference of the NBA.

Should we expect any new thing at this year’s conference?

Absolutely! In fact our LawPavilion Prime with Case Analytics is the first of such not only in Nigeria, but the whole of Africa.

This year, we are integrating Artificial Intelligence, simply known as (AI) into our Legal Software Solutions.

What will the Artificial Intelligence bring into the legal industry?

In recent times, there has been a rave about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and this is because it is affecting every industry, shaking the very core of norms and redefining roles.

This is primarily because with AI, machines can now do the things that were considered to be exclusively within the purview of human intelligence.

AI is permeating every industry! For instance, in the medical field, AI techniques from deep learning, image classification and object recognition can now be used to find cancer on MRIs with the same accuracy as highly trained radiologists while the Babylon AI Doctor App uses speech recognition to consult with patients, check their symptoms against a database, and offers them adequate treatments.

In marketing, recommendation engines make use of machine learning and predictive analysis to provide personalized recommendations to each customer.

This has helped big e-commerce platforms such as Amazon boost their revenue at an impressive rate.

In transportation, Google Maps can analyze the speed of movement of traffic at any given time and reduce commutes by suggesting the fastest routes.

As seen above, Artificial Intelligence is having broad and significant impacts across a variety of industries.

Lawyers (and the legal profession) should not be left out in this new wave that bears many benefits.

Today, in developed countries of the world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is beginning to transform the legal profession in many ways as lawyers are already using AI to do things like reviewing documents, ensuring compliance (which is a very front burner issue for multinationals and transnationals), analyzing contracts to determine whether they meet pre-determined criteria, performing legal research, and predicting case outcomes.

Does that mean AI is replacing lawyers?

Of course not! AI is not here to replace lawyers; rather, it is here to augment what lawyers do and free them up to take on higher-level tasks such as advising clients, negotiating deals and appearing in court, thereby being productive doing much more in less time.

At JPMorgan, for instance, an AI-powered programme called COIN has been used since June 2017 to interpret commercial loan agreements.

This meant that work that previously took about 360,000 lawyers’ hours is now being done in seconds.


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