The sprawling tentacles of artificial intelligence have already overtaken human jobs in the retail and manufacturing sector. But recent reports indicate blue collar jobs may not be the only ones at risk. CNBC reports the legal profession is a prime target for automation, and Search Engine Journal has said the same could be true of certain types of content marketing, such as law firm blog writing.
What’s important to note, however, is that there are certain functions of law firm blog writing – just as with being an attorney – that simply can’t be generated with artificial intelligence.
Let’s start with law. Even those in law firm blog writing know the job is bound by tradition and is often quite labor intensive. There is some evidence to indicate that digitizing some elements of the job – such as data searching, contract creation or mining for evidence of potential fraud or other elements – which may be possible to streamline through technology. Right now, these are the responsibility of flesh-and-blood attorneys. If those jobs are automated, it could save money for clients (and more affordable legal services means potentially more clients) and free actual attorneys for more high-level critical analysis.
With law firm blog writing, there are already some attorneys who have waded into use of artificial intelligence content farms to help them get content on their sites. It’s cheap, it’s fast, it gets the keywords in – and a lot of it READS like it was written by a robot. That’s not exactly what you want to convey to potential clients about who you are as an attorney. While some differences may be subtle, the actual human audience reading that content will pick up on it, which gives incentives for Google to fine-tune algorithms to root out content like this that lacks real value.
A robot content generator may be able to report the very basics of a new court opinion (similar to the way the Washington Post used a bot called Heliograf to help generate short reports for readers on the outcomes of various games and medal awards). The Post noted that in 2014, its sports staff spent countless hours digging up and manually publishing the results of each event. With Heliograf technology, much of that work could be automated – freeing up reporters to spend more time producing stories that were both powerful and personal – things no robot is going to be able to do with the same kind of compelling authenticity.
Some in the artificial intelligence content generation industry estimate that within the next 10 years, we could see 90 percent of all news the general public reads generated by computers. However, what this does not mean is that 90 percent of all journalists would be replaced. Rather, the amount of published material is going to significantly increase. The local t-ball game scores, dance recital play bills, scholarships awarded – these are the kinds of things that don’t necessarily get picked up by everyday outlets but that may have interest to specific audiences that could potentially be produced with artificial intelligence.
That doesn’t mean the need for good journalism, content, law firm blog writing or lawyers is going anywhere. It means companies and individuals in these professions will need to adapt, to ensure their clients or audiences are receiving the highest quality services with elements that no robot can generate simply with data or automated systems. For example, artificial intelligence systems may have the ability to research keywords in a newly-released court opinion, but it can’t generate insightful analysis from an attorney or argue those points before a judge. Similarly, content generation artificial intelligence may be able to craft sensible sentences, but it’s not going to have the ability to compile thoughtful analysis with creative prose – the kind that draws people in and helps build confidence and trust in potential clients.
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Lawyers could be the next profession to be replaced by computers, Nov. 27, 2018, CNBC
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Blogging 101 for Lawyers: Why You Need a Law Firm Blog, April 27, 2017, Law Firm Website Content Services Blog