Hong Kong Lawyer

August 2017

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Ms. Heidi Chu, Secretary General 秘書長朱潔冰律師 Legal Tech The breakneck pace at which technology evolves is marvelling. Its ubiquity creates an omnipresent influence on even the most intransigent of luddites. The legal profession, which is famed for its recalcitrance to innovation, has reached a tipping point. The legal, regulatory and business demands that lawyers must help their clients navigate ever more quickly by the day has pushed many practitioners, who want to remain relevant, to look towards technological solutions for assistance. However, embracing technology to drive efficiencies and value on micro and macro levels comes with challenges – how can lawyers embrace innovative practices without compromising professional ethical standards? The tech world has identified a number of major trends in 2017. Among them are automation and machine learning. The legal profession has traditionally been considered a human-exclusive practice where machine automation had no meaningful role. However, the development of new technological tools has increasingly demonstrated technology's relevance and usefulness to legal service providers. These innovative tools range from the automation of mundane time-keeping tasks to sophisticated legal research work. For instance, timekeeping solutions can now streamline and simplify the process of tracking billable hours by capturing relevant time, through the application of artificial intelligence (AI) analysis, across all devices, including desktops, laptops, and mobile, and producing a daily summary to the user. Much attention has also been drawn to the development of the ROSS platform which is built on IBM's Watson computer. It is supported with cognitive computing and natural language processing capabilities. Users may ask ROSS research questions in natural language as if they were speaking to a colleague. The AI then "reads" through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences and returns with a "highly relevant", evidence-based answer. Further, the adoption of AI assisted predictive coding to expedite document review in the maze of millions of electronic documents in litigation was recently considered and approved by the English High Court in the landmark case of Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch) ("Pyrrho"). Technological advancements keep pushing new limits in storage capacity, microchip density, download speed and energy efficiency. As a result of the ease and convenience in generating and communicating digital information, large volumes of electronically stored information are being created, duplicated and stored in different formats, locations and jurisdictions every second, every day. The Pyrrho case is illustrative of the cautious readiness of 法律科技 科技發展一日千里,無處不在,即使最頑固的「頑 石」,也不得不向科技「點頭」。 素以抗拒創新聞名的法律界,亦已到了臨界點。法 律、規管和商界均要求律師必須更快地為客戶提供 引導,促使許多希望跟上步伐的執業者尋求科技的 協助。 然而,利用科技來提高微觀和宏觀層面的效率與價 值,亦不無挑戰-律師如何在不損害職業道德標準 下利用創新實踐? 科技界在2017年確定了一些主要趨勢,其中包括自 動化和機器學習。 傳統上,法律界被視為全人手的工作,機器自動化 的作用不大。然而,新科技工具的發展越來越證 明,科技對法律服務提供者息息相關,作用重大。 這些創新工具的功能,包括自動化刻板的計時工 作,到處理複雜的法律研究。例如,透過應用人工 智能分析所有設備(包括座枱電腦、手提電腦、手 提電話)的相關時間,優化簡化跟踪可收費時數的過 程,並向使用者提供每日摘要。 ROSS平台的開發,亦引起不少關注。該平台以IBM Watson電腦建構,具備認知運算和自然語言處理功 能。使用者可用自然語言向ROSS提出研究問題,就 像對同事說話一樣。人工智能就會「閱讀」法例、 收集證據、作出推論,然而給予「高度相關」、證 據為本的答案。 此外,最近在 Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd [2016] EWHC 256(Ch)一案中,英 國高等法院考慮並批准了利用人工智能輔助預測編 碼,加快審閱數以百萬計的電子文件。 科技進步令儲存量、晶片密度、下載速度和能源效 能不斷提高。由於產生和傳送電子信息越來越便 利,電子儲存信息亦每分每秒以不同格式、不同位 置、在不同司法管轄區被創建、複製和儲存。Pyr- rho案就是一個例證,顯示司法系統考慮了時間、成 FROM THE SECRETARIAT 律 師 會 秘 書處 資 訊 10 www.hk-lawyer.org •  August 2017

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