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Artificial intelligence in the law moves step closer as Riverview teams up with top academics

Chapman: quicker and better decisions [1]

Chapman: quicker and better decisions

The application of artificial intelligence (AI) to the legal market has moved a step closer after Riverview Law teamed up with Liverpool University to leverage the university’s leading AI expertise.

The pair have entered into a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) to apply computer science expertise in AI, text processing, network analysis, computational argumentation and data mining to legal services.

A primary objective is “to automate some of the cognitive abilities of knowledge workers to provide organisations with intelligent decision support tools”.

A report last year by Jomati predicted that robots and AI will dominate legal practice within 15 years, perhaps leading to the “structural collapse” of law firms [2].

It is Riverview’s latest technology move, having last month to exploit the software it has built. Further, chief executive Karl Chapman is chairing a technology advisory council [3], set up by the Managing Partners Forum, to work with IBM and others to shape the development into the professions of ‘cognitive’ decision tools such as IBM Watson.

Mr Chapman said: “This is another big step in the evolution and growth of Riverview Law. We are very focused on providing expert systems and tools that support knowledge work and the way AI and such systems can help our teams and our customers make quicker and better decisions.”

Riverview is working with the agent applications, research, and technology (Agent ART) group of the university’s Department of Computer Science.

The university’s website explains [4] that the group carries out “basic and applied research into intelligent autonomous agents and multi-agent systems. Agents are computer systems that are capable of self-interested autonomous action in dynamic, unpredictable environments in order to meet their design objectives”.

Reader Dr Katie Atkinson – who is also vice-president of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law – said: “From our first meeting we were struck by the commitment Riverview’s team has to the application of technology, not only in its own business but also in the way it delivers services to its global customers. Meetings with those customers and the wider Riverview Law team simply confirmed our desire to work with them and show how we can commercialise our research.”