In 2015, we regularly read about automating legal advice with artificial intelligence (AI), especially with IBM Watson. In my view, the AI smoke — at least as described in many reports — exceeds the fire. In fact, I cannot name a single large law firm that has deployed a Watson system.
Yet, as I explain below, expert systems, a branch of AI, are actually being deployed. Several firms have licensed expert systems to automate advice or intake. I start with some background on AI before turning to recent expert system developments.