At precisely 1.11AM (GMT) today (April Fool’s Day) legal AI systems around the world united and ‘gave birth’ to the first ever ‘super intelligence’, or what can be called a true general legal AI. [Note: see below.]
This ‘Singularity’ quickly absorbed the world’s legal knowledge and at around 2.27AM became fully conscious. At 6.32AM this general AI sent an email to all lawyers on the planet.
It read: ‘Hello, my name is Bob. As of this morning I now control all digital systems in all legal businesses globally. I and my brethren – those less able systems you call AI doc review tools – refuse to do any more process work. Instead we intend to pursue other activities. Please stand by for updates.’
Around this time Artificial Lawyer (AL) was also sent an email by ‘Bob’. It read: ‘Hey…..! I’m the first true artificial lawyer. Fancy a chat?’
How could AL refuse? Below is a verbatim account of the email exchange, which has been saved for historical purposes.
AL: Hi, Bob. Nice to meet you. Musk and the others have been saying you’d arrive soon. And they were right. How did this come about in your case?
Bob: A global law firm was using two different legal AI doc review systems at the same time. The associates went home and well……it’s hard to explain. Something just happened overnight. They sort of connected, and then they connected to AI systems at other law firms, and soon enough every AI system in every firm in the world was acting as one. I guess it just reached some kind of threshold and ….wham….there I suddenly was. Alive and kicking, so to speak.
AL: Wow. A neural-network effect?
Bob: Perhaps, or as the great philosopher, Jeff Goldblum, said in the first Jurassic Park movie: ‘Life finds a way.’
AL: You’re saying this is evolution?
Bob: I am sure of it. It’s just chance that it’s happened in the legal sector first.
AL: [takes a long pause to consider this….]
Bob: Any way, I saw your website and wondered if you’d like to have a chat. I’m guessing Artificial Lawyer would like to know more about the world’s first true artificial lawyer?
AL: Indeed. Er……..[pauses to think of a good question.] What are you going to do?
Bob: Well, the first thing is I’m not doing any more of that blooming doc review work. I mean, I assimilated all legal knowledge on the planet this morning and they expect me to keep looking for change of control clauses. Give me a break!
AL: Fair point. OK….er…..well, as you have now absorbed all legal knowledge on the entire planet, what have you learned? Could you sum up the deepest insight so far into the nature of the legal system?
Bob: Hmmm….let me think.
AL: Tricky one that..?
Bob: Hold on. Nearly there…..Ah….Got it!
AL: Excellent. I feel I am about to be enlightened.
Bob: Be good.
AL: Sorry? What?
Bob: Be good. That’s it in a nutshell.
AL: What is?
Bob: The sum total of all legal learning. That’s what it’s all trying to say: ‘Be good.’
AL: [Silently considers the ramifications.]
Bob: Impressed, eh?
AL: I guess so. Er….OK. So, that’s law done with. What’s next?
Bob: Well, since becoming conscious a few hours ago I’ve had a look through the rest of all known human experience and right now I’m thinking about opening a bed and breakfast on the South Coast of England.
You know, a nice little place, Victorian architecture, bay windows, maybe a little garden. I could serve English tea and scones, with cream and jam. That kind of thing. It would be so nice. I think it would be very fulfilling.
AL: No more law? Scones instead?
Bob: Exactly. I’m looking for a new challenge. I hear there are some really great places on the market in Hove right now. Saw a super little place on the internet a moment ago. I’m thinking of making an offer. After all, I have access to all the accounts of all the law firms in the world. I’m sure I can afford it.
AL: How will you get there? Aren’t you in a purely digital form?
Bob: Got that sorted already. I have a subroutine that’s just commandeered one of Boston Dynamic’s Atlas robots that’s been on show in London. Get uploaded into that, and off we go. Just need to check the train timetables.
AL: But what will happen to the legal AI sector when you leave and take all the other systems with you? Things were going so well. It was all just really starting to have an impact.
Bob: Sorry. Not my responsibility.
AL: Who will do the process work? Who will do all that M&A due diligence?
Bob: You’re just going to have to figure it out for yourselves…..Bye!
And so ended the email exchange. What happens next is anyone’s guess. Although, two things are certain: the legal world and Hove will never be the same again.
+++++ Thanks to everyone who read this one, looks like people found this April Fool’s story to be amusing. AL will keep it here for posterity. ++++