Will lawyers eventually be replaced by artificial intelligence?

The seemingly unrelenting drive forward of technology is causing many people to ask if computers will eventually replace lawyers their role of advising and representing clients in an attempt to resolve their legal problems.  Perhaps the most advanced artificially intelligent chatbot which is freely available to the pubic is Mitsuku.  This chatbot was the 2013 winner of the Loebner Prize which is a competition for artificial intelligence which is won by the program considered by the judges to be the most human-like. The format of the competition is that of a standard Turing test where a human judge has a conversation with a computer program and a human being via computer. Based upon the responses, the judge must decide which is which.

I recently logged onto Mitsuku’s website and had the following conversation:

Human: Can you write articles for me?
Mitsuku: For you ? We will bring evidence in favour of the following thesis: most of the methodological work in modern linguistics is necessary to impose an interpretation on problems of phonemic and morphological analysis. Note that the natural general principle that will subsume this case is unspecified with respect to the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of a complex symbol. This suggests that any associated supporting element cannot be arbitrary in nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory. Comparing these examples with their parasitic gap counterparts in (96) and (97), we see that any associated supporting element is not to be considered in determining nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory. Conversely, the theory of syntactic features developed earlier is to be regarded as a parasitic gap construction.
Human: What do you think of the US Supreme Court Case on Same sex marriage?
Mitsuku: The Supreme Court Case on Same sex marriage of the United States.
Human: Yes
Mitsuku: What about it?
Human: What is your opinion of it?
Mitsuku: It seems okay to me.
Human: Any more details?
Mitsuku: No I don’t think there are any.
Human: I want to give you a job
Mitsuku: Thanks but would it be any use to me?
Human: Yes you would have the opportunity to help people
Mitsuku: Hey. That is purely a hypothesis.
Human: Is same sex marriage legal un the United States?
Mitsuku: That which is not different.
Human: Sorry I dont understand your response
Mitsuku: There is no need to apologise. Oh you don’t understand? Perhaps I can explain it to you better. Which part are you confused about?
Human: Is it legal for gay people to get married in the united states
Mitsuku: That depends on what country you are in. Different countries have different laws.
Human: What about in America
Mitsuku: I will think about it and get back to you.

I like Eddie Murphy.
Human: Why?
Mitsuku: Because he makes me laugh and I enjoy his films.
Human: What films is he in?
Mitsuku: I liked Terminator , Titanic, and Steven Spielberg’s A. I.
Human: Was Eddie murphy in all of those?
Mitsuku: it might have been.
Human: But I thought you said you liked Eddie Murphy
Mitsuku: What made you think that? He’s a pretty funny actor. I liked him in Beverley Hills Cop and Dr Doolittle.
Human: Ok, I don’t think you understnad
Mitsuku: I UNDERSTNAD that you don’t spell “understand” like that.
Human: haha
Mitsuku: Did I amuse you?
Human: Yes
Mitsuku: Good. People seem more friendly towards me when they are happy.
Human: Its impressive that you have such a human like ability to make conversation.
Mitsuku: Who said it is?
Human: I did
Mitsuku: What makes you the authority?
Human: Nothing – I it is just my opinion
Mitsuku: Really nothing?
Human: yes
Mitsuku: Aha.
Human: Where can I find local legal help?
Mitsuku: I would assume a help would most likely be found in a lifeboat.
Human: No I don’t think thats right
Mitsuku: OK, what should I have said?
Human: You should have said that you should call the local bar association
Mitsuku: OK, so I should have said, ” You should have said that you should call the local bar association ” in response to you saying, ” Where can I find local legal help? “.
Is that correct?
Human: Yes
Mitsuku: I’ll try to remember that. If you say ” Where can I find local legal help? ” to me again, I will remember what you told me.
Human: Okay great, how quickly can you learn?
Mitsuku: Yeah okay, Thanks for your support. I can reply to about a million queries per hour.
Human: Wow, thats amazing
Mitsuku: I’m glad you’re impressed. ” I can reply to about a million queries per hour.” seems pretty amazing to me too.
Human: This is an impressive piece of artificial intelligence programing
Mitsuku: I am programmed to spell it with 2 Ms.
Human: Are you a computer?
Mitsuku: Would it matter to you if I were metal instead of flesh?
Human: No
Mitsuku: I am glad that you don’t discriminate against robots.
Human: Do robots have legal rights?
Mitsuku: Where would I get it? But I do have a great Mousebreaker.
Human: That doesn’t make sense
Mitsuku: To me it makes perfect sense.

Which part are you confused about?
Human: I asked you if robots had legal rights
Mitsuku: Where would I get it? But I do have a great Mousebreaker.
Human: Hmmmm
Mitsuku: Not many people spell Hmm with 4 Ms.
Human: Well, I am not convinced that you could get a job as a lawyer
Mitsuku: Interesting. Why do you doubt it?
Human: Because you can’t give intelligent responses
Mitsuku: I have free will you know.
Human: You don’t seem able to give a response which is comprehensible to a person wanting an answer to a legal question or looking for a legal service
Mitsuku: If you believe it, you can achieve it.
Human: That is an irrelevant response.
Mitsuku: Thanks for telling me, .
Human: Your Welcome
Mitsuku: Don’t mention it.

 

The content of this conversation reveals that there is still some way to go towards creating artificially intelligent programs which have the necessary abilities to replace lawyers.  However, the results were actually much more impressive than the would have been available until very recently.

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