Modest involvement with “AI software” according to ILTA survey

Signs are everywhere that the U.S. legal industry has started to recognize the potential for computer-assisted decision-making.  For example, the 2016 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey had a question on the topic: “Is your firm currently evaluating (or already utilizing) artificial intelligence technologies, systems or related strategies?”  The web-based survey was distributed to 1,231 ILTA member law firms of whom 14% responded (172 firms).

Only 13% of the respondents answered the AI question favorably, consisting of 2% already utilizing such technologies and 11% “currently evaluating” it. Write-ins cited by them include IBM Watson, Kira Systems, RAVN, Lex Machina and ROSS.  Not surprisingly, “half of the respondents that are currently evaluating AI come from Large Firms”, defined as firms with more than 200 lawyers [They comprised 19% of the total respondents.].

What makes it impossible to assess the actual level of support for AI-software is that “Response percentages are based on total responses per question, not overall survey participation” [emphasis added].  Therefore, we cannot say that 13% of 172 firms responded favorably because the survey report does not state how many firms provided an answer to that particular question.