Freshfields is not only a major multinational law firm with over 2500 offices around the globe, it is also the oldest in the Magic Circle – an elite group of the five most prestigious law firms headquartered in the UK.
As Enterprise Architect in the Innovation and IT Strategy Team, Milos Kresojevic is researching disruptive technologies and how they can be used to significantly improve value for clients, the organisation and the access to justice – with AI, of course, being one of the greatest disruptors.
Milos’s major professional experience stems from work in IBM’s Research Lab, as well as in the Silicon Valley where he was focused on innovative efforts for blue chip and start-up companies in the financial, insurance, transportation and software sectors. Most recently, he led the Freshfields IT Team to win the 1st European Legal Hackathon in March 2016
We spoke to Milos to hear his thoughts on impact of AI on the enterprise as a whole, and its bearing on provisioning of legal services and access to justice – both now and in the future.
Milos Kresojevic of Freshfields
“AI will certainly change and has the huge potential to improve the enterprise, value for clients and access to justice”, Milos asserts. “In the legal sector, the support of AI and machine learning will change the nature of the services provided, the way the services are provided and how humans and machines interact to support each other more and more closely to achieve things that were hard to achieve in the previous computing era”.
Milos explains the opportunity of AI as a “space shuttle in your backyard”: “You have extremely powerful “AI engines” (i.e. the space shuttle) to work with, and you have to have a right plan and a big enough goal to aim for or that “AI vehicle” just goes to waste. Possibilities are huge – from expanding the level and reach of human legal experts to expanding access to justice and opportunities that were not previously possible due to the sheer size or scale of human effort required. That all together opens the space for a new set of AI-based legal services. And of course, it opens the space for new revenue streams”.
There are, however, obstacles in the way of AI adoption in the enterprise. Milos shares his thoughts on the key ones:
“Technology is not currently perceived as a value-add activity in the legal sector. That is changing – technology will increasingly become a differentiator of providing client value and services, and we need a perception change in that sense. Another challenge is change introduced by the AI technology itself. We are used to thinking about IT systems in binary terms: they either work correctly or not, either 100% correct or 0% correct. In contrast, we must realise that machine learning-based systems are measured on range or scale (accuracy, precision, recall etc.) and are going to vary based on learning performed.
“Another challenge is governance of machine learning-based systems – the right disciplines and training are crucial, particularly in the legal sector”.
So how will AI affect the approach to legal business?
“AI and machine learning will come into our processes in bits – there will not be a whole takeover by machines. AI will take over first data-driven areas, but for bespoke legal work people will always be involved. The structures of the business models will shift, which will create different opportunities for legal value creation for clients, organisations and more broadly in society and in large businesses. The question is: where will the value lie?
Increasing efficiencies of complex legal processes is a major focus – but he feels AI has the potential to go beyond this.
“AI and machine learning will help legal experts in decision making and augment their current abilities to make them more efficient”, he says. “But ultimately everyone talks about efficiencies – we are talking about possibilities”.
Milos’s investigation into AI took him to The AI Summit in London in May, and he concludes with his thoughts on the event.
“It was clear at The AI Summit that AI means many different things to many different people – and it was great to see that demonstrated, and see highly motivated people discussing it”.
We spoke to Milos after he attended the inaugural AI Summit in London on 5 May. The second, larger AI Summit takes place in San Francisco on 28-29 September. To find out more, and to join us at the Fort Mason Center in September, visit: theaisummit.com