New Delhi: Artificial intelligence (AI) should not be viewed as a threat, but as an opportunity to enhance the quality of legal practice, Supreme Court judge Hima Kohli has said, terming it is a “game-changer” in the legal field that has the potential to revolutionise the way lawyers work.
Justice Kohli, however, flagged ethical concerns about the “accountability, transparency and protection of rights of parties”, which may crop up with the use of AI in the legal field.
She said it is undeniable that technology has played a significant role in keeping the wheels of justice turning even during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“As we embrace technology, it is imperative that we are aware of the ethical concerns that come with the use of artificial intelligence in courts. The use of AI raises concerns about accountability, transparency and protection of rights of parties. It will be critical to establish clear guidelines and protocols to ensure that justice is dispensed equitably to all parties,” the apex court judge said at a function organised by the ICICI bank here on Saturday.
Speaking on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence and the Legal Sector”, Justice Kohli said the advent of artificial intelligence has caused some concerns amongst the legal fraternity.
“Lawyers may fear that their expertise and skills will be made redundant by technology. However, to my mind, AI should not be viewed as a threat, but as an opportunity to enhance the quality of legal practice,” she said.
Firstly, AI has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency of legal practice by automating routine tasks, reducing the time required for legal research and providing real-time access to information, the judge pointed out.
This could create more time and space for lawyers to focus on complex and value-adding tasks, ultimately leading to better outcomes for clients, Justice Kohli said.
“Secondly, AI systems can analyse vast amounts of data and identify patterns and relationships that may not be immediately obvious to humans. It leads to increased accuracy in decision-making and better outcomes for clients,” she said.
AI can also be used to provide clients with instant access to information, personalised recommendations and virtual legal assistance, she said, adding, it improves the overall experience of clients and helps build long-term relationships.
Justice Kohli said integration of AI in the legal profession has the potential of creating new business opportunities, including the development of new legal-tech products and services.
“Finally, lawyers who embrace AI will be better positioned to stay ahead of their competition and remain relevant in an increasingly technology-driven legal landscape,” she said.
Justice Kohli said in the coming years, the role of AI is bound to expand in shaping the legal world and bring about positive changes.
“To conclude, AI is a game-changer in the legal field and has the potential to revolutionise the way lawyers work,” the judge said. While stressing the need to use AI in the legal field, Justice Kohli, however, said the technology would lack human empathy, compassion and reasoning, which are essential for the dispensation of justice, and for these, judges would be needed,” she said.
In an AI-powered Indian judiciary, the role of judges is likely to change and evolve, Justice Kohli said, adding their fundamental role, however, in ensuring fairness, impartiality and protection of civil liberties will remain constant and unchanged.