By Zach Warren , originally published in Legaltech.
For all the buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal industry, the technology still hasn’t made its way into many corporate legal departments. In an HBR Consulting survey earlier this year, only 6 percent of corporate legal departments had AI tools or were piloting them. A separate Thomson Reuters survey from 2017 found that although 67 percent were open to new technology adoption, half were not interested in purchasing AI or AI-based tools.
But that doesn’t mean AI is non-existent in corporate legal departments. A few first adopters are applying AI in various capacities. Here’s a look at what Legaltech News, Corporate Counsel and Law.com have uncovered so far in 2018 about where AI is beginning to find its way into the law department of the future.
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Alan Bryan, senior associate general counsel of Walmart, said that at his company, encouraging adoption means demonstrating value. “I’d rather the attorney spend four more hours preparing for the critical deposition and adding value that way,” Bryan explained at the 2018 CLOC Conference. That’s why the company has shifted its initial discovery system to one powered by AI software company LegalMation, where the first drafts of answers to litigation and the initial round of discovery requests are automated to complete in about two minutes. Bryan estimated that Wal-Mart’s lawyers are seeing between 60 and 80 percent time savings on routine tasks.