Will computers predict litigation results; write briefs?


Larry Ribstein, the polymath law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, playing off an article about computer programs designed to write sports stories, speculates it won't be long before computers will be predicting litigation outcomes.

 The law, like sports, evolves along predictable patterns and sorting those out and projecting future outcomes is exactly what computers do. However, one critical human contribution can't be a avoided, he says. Lawyers are needed to create the legal strategy and choose issues that need to be briefed. It’s worth noting that speculation about computer generated sports stories began more than a decade ago.

 And while much writing by real human beings can be numblingly mechanical, computers yet haven't been able to match it. Maybe that is a good thing.