Don’t fear the machines: Why AI will ‘supplement, not supplant’ contracting professionals

Learn about the realities of AI today, its limitations and capabilities, and its use as a “force multiplier” for contracting.

If you believed everything you’ve read about AI, it wouldn’t be surprising if you thought that robots were about to overtake humankind, ending our jobs and livelihoods along with it.

From the debut of ChatGPT last November to now, AI – and particularly, generative AI – has been developing at a breakneck pace, aiding users in everything from writing cover letters to helping tend to your houseplants to even creating professional headshots using a selfie you took in your kitchen moments before.

While some of these advancements are welcome in modern society, not all are. AI poses significant concerns around topics such as safety, ethics, accuracy, and data privacy. In fact, more than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the negative effects of AI and 61% believe it could actually threaten civilization, according to a poll conducted by news outlet Reuters in May of this year.

But what’s fact versus fiction when it comes to AI? Read on to learn more about the realities of AI today, its limitations and capabilities, and its use as a “force multiplier” in the contracting world.

Types of AI

Artificial intelligence,” also known simply as AI, is an umbrella term for a variety of different technologies, including machine learning; natural language processing; review, analysis and extraction; and creative generation.   

The four main categories of AI are:  

  • Machine learning (ML): The creation of algorithms through user-led training.   
  • Natural language processing (NLP): Extracting intent from unstructured user requests.   
  • Review, analysis & extraction: Using ML algorithms to find, review, and highlight meaningful data within a given data set. 
  • Generative AI: Uses ML algorithms and deep processing to create uniquely new content. A popular example of this is ChatGPT. 

Capabilities, limitations, and accuracy

AI’s current and potential uses in Legal

It’s important to note that AI is not just futuristic, aspirational technology. AI, particularly in the form of ML and NLP, is already being used by contracting professionals to aid them in routine, repetitive, and tedious work. 

There are numerous ways AI can augment the efforts of a Legal team. According to a recent survey Agiloft conducted, contracting professionals already use AI to: 

  • Auto-draft contracts 
  • Import data from legacy contracts  
  • Summarize key provisions to speed up approvals  
  • Summarize changes made from one contract version to the next  

In the future, this list could expand to include more complex tasks. Although creative generation is a challenge AI still struggles to solve effectively, this capability is on the horizon. Libraries of clauses can already be connected to one another to create a total contract, and future iterations of AI may be able to intuit from a natural language request what clauses need to be combined to form a complete contract. 

Accuracy and limitations

When it comes to AI, having confidence in the technology’s results is of utmost importance. So, it’s not surprising that 65% of Agiloft’s survey respondents are concerned about the inaccuracy of AI’s outputs.

Most machine-learning platforms are what is considered by the industry to be “broadly accurate,” and machine learning experts estimate a good-to-excellent accuracy rate on algorithms at 70%-90%.

While this number may surprise you, the good news is Agiloft maintains an even higher degree of accuracy with a threshold of 90%. Anything 90% and better is considered “top shelf” in the industry.

On top of that, contracting professionals can use their own internal files to “train” Agiloft’s AI Trainer, teaching the machine to identify key terms and clauses that are uniquely valuable to their organization and industry, increasing the accuracy and relevance of their results to their desired level and helping you remain in control. 

As AI is increasingly adopted in the legal industry and offerings like AI Trainer empower organizations to build bespoke algorithms, accuracy concerns should lessen. 

The importance of data privacy

Only second to concerns about accuracy, respondents to recent Agiloft research overwhelmingly cited privacy as a serious issue. 

And it’s not just the public who’s concerned about it. Privacy regulations are set to be increased in the coming years. By year-end 2024, Gartner predicts that 75% of the world’s population will have its personal data covered under modern privacy regulations. 

Agiloft adheres to all relevant data protection regulations, such as GDPR, by implementing policies and procedures that ensure data privacy and security throughout the data lifecycle. We also tailor compliance to customer needs and ensure that we meet or exceed their strict requirements and expectations.

A pragmatic, human-centric approach to AI

Although one of the biggest fears people have about AI is that it will make many people’s jobs obsolete, ranging all the way from retail workers to stockbrokers.

However, fears about AI “replacing” workers are unfounded at this stage of the technology’s development. AI not only requires human input to function, but also works best alongside humans to achieve best results. 

In a recent webinar with Corporate Counsel Business Journal, Agiloft’s Prashant Dubey said that AI “will never supplant humans, it will supplement humans.”

“All it does is supplement the human decision-making and judgment that’s infused into a negotiation process. So let’s take away the rote, routine work and enable them to fill their time with other things,” he said. 

AI, Dubey continued, allows legal professionals to do what they’re trained to do: exercise their judgment using a particular thought process. 

“This should give you more of an opportunity to do that rather than focus on routine contracting where you’re just plugging and playing the same precedent provisions that you have before,” he said.

Conclusion

Working alongside AI, humans can cut down on tedious tasks, increase overall efficiency, and streamline predictable processes. 

When implemented in a targeted, context-specific way, AI can become a force multiplier that allows an organization’s staff to get most repetitive tasks done quickly and efficiently, relieving them to focus on reviewing, negotiating and processing contracts at the lowest levels of risk possible.

We understand you’re not looking for a 
one-size-fits-some solution. With our adaptable no-code implementation, we’ll get you underway right away. We’re proud of our data-first agreement platform – and we know you’ll like it too – it’s just one reason why 97% of our customers stick with us.

Agiloft’s AI platform lets you do AI your way, using your training documents and accuracy standards. Click here to learn more.

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