Watching the Robot Lawyers

The rise of artificial intelligence has entered the law industry where companies have automated routine legal tasks and documents. This has impacted law education and raises questions about the ethics of robot lawyers and how they are being regulated to protect both customers and industry.

Researchers at University of Melbourne's Network Society Institute have released a discussion paper examining the current state of Automated Legal Advice Tools (ALATs) in Australia.

The paper explores the development of ALATs ranging from legal chatbots and virtual assistants through to more sophisticated technologies comprising automated drafting, document revere, and legal algorithms. The paper surveys the current landscape and assesses the capabilities of existing tools.

ALATs are rapidly developing, disrupting the legal services market. This discussion paper works to inform debate surrounding the potential of these tools in Australia. The paper provides a foundation of future research with a range of stakeholders to inform policy-making surrounding the use of automated legal services.

The paper is the first from the Regulating Automated Legal Advice Technologies project, which seeks to understand the legal, regulatory and ethical risks and consequences of automated legal advice tools.

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Kate Murray

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