Global law firm Dentons recently launched fleetAI, a GPT4-based generative AI platform for its staff and lawyers. Artificial Lawyer caught up with UK-based Head of Innovation, Joe Cohen, to find out some more.
When asked what the project is delivering, Joe explained: ‘In the short term there is a lot of work that can be delivered faster and more efficiently, particularly when our contract-specific automated reports go live towards the end of this year. This will be the main benefit – but what we are seeing is that people are being incredibly creative with the questions they are asking.
‘For example, asking the tool to ask you questions so you can give it necessary context to the transaction before answering your main question, or asking what legal questions it itself would ask of the document in question (this is a fun one!), can give really unique and interesting perspectives instantly.’
Joe is just one of the many great speakers at the Legal Innovators UK conference in London on November 8 + 9.
The full interview is below. Enjoy. And if you find this interesting, there will be plenty more on legal AI from those working at the cutting edge of the subject at Legal Innovators in November. See you there!
What is your role?
My current role is Head of Innovation for Dentons – UK, Ireland and Middle East.
You’ve been working on a major generative AI project at Dentons, ‘fleetAI’, can you tell us what it is?
Yes, we have been working on fleetAI since March of this year. The project was really condensed in terms of the timeframes, and it was amazing to be able to have launched it firm-wide in September. The platform essentially allows us to use GPT4 on our client work in a safe, confidential manner – both for chat and for document upload.
The platform can analyse and generate over 7m words per minute and we’re really happy about levels of accuracy, pursuant to the various guardrails and (particularly) guidance we’ve put in place.
What inspired you to do this?
I presented to our Executive Committee in February about ChatGPT and everyone was really on board with the potential of the underlying technology and what it could mean for law firms, if the various concerns (data privacy, confidentiality, and retention) could be solved.
That decision-making, plus our crucial relationships with Microsoft, as well as our excellent development partners Springbok.AI, made it possible to get a real head start in this space – and we are certainly seeing the rewards at the moment! We wanted to be right at the cutting edge of the legal industry on this, and as we were the first law firm to launch a robust client-safe GPT4 tool firm-wide, I think we have achieved that.
How have people at the firm responded so far?
The tool was launched in September and is already used across the firm. Overall, the response has been really excellent. I think most of our staff (the tool is available to everyone, not just lawyers) hadn’t really used ChatGPT on work-related queries before and when the firm started to actively encourage them to do so, the high quality of the responses definitely caused some shockwaves!
It really has caused an even higher level of enthusiasm for innovation and tech than we had before, which is great to see. The client response has also been overwhelming – I’m having about 7-10 client meetings per week to discuss AI at the moment!
More broadly, how do you see this tool and others helping lawyers at Dentons in the short term?
Well, in the short term there is a lot of work that can be delivered faster and more efficiently, particularly when our contract-specific automated reports go live towards the end of this year. This will be the main benefit – but what we are seeing is that people are being incredibly creative with the questions they are asking and the responses they are getting, and this extra inspiration is being noticed.
For example, asking the tool to ask you questions so you can give it necessary context to the transaction before answering your main question, or asking what legal questions it itself would ask of the document in question (this is a fun one!), can give really unique and interesting perspectives instantly.
Finally, it’s still early days for LLMs, in five years where do you think we could be in terms of their use and impact in the legal sector?
Really difficult to say. For the next 12 months, for us anyway, I think it’ll be about consolidating the benefit that you can get from the advanced LLMs as they are, maybe with a little bit of fine tuning.
Once we are in a place where the majority of our staff are using fleetAI every day as it is, we can start to look to expand – but it’s difficult to do that until everyone understands what the tech can and can’t do on a practical level. After that, with GPT5 coming next year, the sky could really be the limit.
And, of course, why are you looking forward to Legal Innovators UK on November 8 + 9 in London?
It’s one of my favourites of the year! Always good to see familiar faces and discuss important topics.
Thanks, Joe. Looking forward to hearing you speak!
Legal Innovators UK Conference – November 8 + 9 – London
The Legal Innovators UK conference, where Joe Cohen at Dentons and many other great speaker are attending, will take place on 8 + 9 November. Day One: law firms and ALSPs, Day Two: inhouse and legal ops.
For tickets, please see here.
For more information, please see here.
The two-day event comes at a time of significant change for the legal market and we will be bringing you engaging panels and presentations where leading experts really dig into the issues of the day, from generative AI, to the evolution of ALSPs, to law firm innovation teams in this new era for legal tech, to how empowered legal ops groups and pioneering GCs are making a real impact.
See you there!
Richard Tromans, Founder of Artificial Lawyer and Conference Chair.