LONald 'Contract Robot' First In UK
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is working with artificial intelligence (AI) in real estate. The global law firm's contract robot can complete within seconds legal work which would take a team of paralegals and associates months to do.
BLP decided to test cognitive computing in its real estate practice because it was felt that it provides the best opportunities for repeat work.
Affectionately called 'LONald' because of its use for Light Obstruction Notices (LONs), the firm's 'contract robot' can now finish in less than two seconds work which would have taken a team of people 100 days to complete.
The robot extracts data from Land Registry documents and enters it into a spreadsheet in the same way associates and paralegals would do. It cross-checks data points to remove duplicates and then uses the spreadsheet to send LONs and queries out.
For example, LONald will send an enquiry to Companies House to check if the address in the document matches the company number. If the address is out of date, the robot will flag it for review. The team will then consider all flagged documents in one go at the review stage.
"They can deliver a huge amount of work in the fraction of the time," said [Matthew Whalley, the originator of this project and head of BLP's legal risk consultancy].
Fans of Frederik Pohl may recall a very early mention of a law clerk robot:
The law clerk arrived, a smallish robot with a battered stainless steel hide and dull coppery features. Elon took the robot aside for a terse conversation before he came back to Morey.
"As I thought," he said in satisfaction. "No precedent. No laws prohibiting. Therefore no crime."
See also the robot judge from Harry Harrison's excellent 1959 short story Robot Justice,
lawyer programs from David Brin's 1990 novel Earth and LEX from Greg Egan's 1991 short story The Moat.
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