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16th March 2023

Artificial intelligence at Hunters

Artificial intelligence at Hunters
Samuel Isaac
Samuel Isaac
Trainee Solicitor

Artificial intelligence (AI) is in the news again as OpenAI launched the latest iteration of its programme, GPT-4 to great acclaim. 

Where the previous version could reach the 10th percentile in the US bar exam, this system scored in the 90th percentile. We have spent time discussing how we might be able to use this technology in the office to better serve our clients both in terms of quality and efficiency.

At Hunters, we value ourselves through our close relationships with our clients, often over generations. Helping to navigate those difficult conversations we all have throughout our lives is our expertise, be it in matters of death, finances or delicate family matters. AI could never provide a stand-in in terms of client interactions, as has been suggested by other firms, I believe strongly that a personal, human approach is always needed in these sensitive matters, and indeed, this is what our clients pay for. 

Even on legal matters, I am sceptical that AI would be able to help for as long as it relies simply on language models. Some have argued, as in the article below, that these systems could help with document summaries, to then be checked by legal professionals. However, I would be wary of how much time this saves - contracts are complex and require careful, considered reading that any AI system could not currently be relied on to perform. For me, checking any summary produced by AI would take just as long as me reviewing it myself.

Where AI does have real value is in administrative tasks. At Hunters, we use an AI system for our onboarding process, shortening the period between when we're first instructed and when we can begin advising our clients. Similarly, we use AI in our filing system which learns where to file documents and emails over time, making it easier to manage our various different matters. This has also supported our 'paper-light' policy with results that benefit our clients and indeed the trees.

It might have been nice to have GPT-4 to help me with my law exams last year, but I've found I've learned the most about being a lawyer while in meetings with clients. It is these relationships that have sustained Hunters for 300 years. We should embrace these new technologies to ensure that we have as much success in the next 300 years, but not at the expense of those relationships that make Hunters the firm that it is.