We often hear about how artificial intelligence (“AI”) is being used to transform various industries, such as how we drive cars and how we communicate with one another. One area that people may not have thought lent itself strongly to the use of AI is alternative dispute resolution. However, a recent article in the Law Times argues that we may soon see AI helping us through just that.

More than just pattern recognition

Mike Huberman, president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario told the Law Times that AI could be used for much more than just analyzing data for patterns, saying “Artificial intelligence, a relational agent, can contribute in a very significant way to alternative dispute resolution and problem solving either by being intelligent or behaving intelligently.”

Humberman said AI is unlikely to replace the need for human moderators, but it could be used to let people know what they can expect during the process, including sharing information on how it will unfold. AI could also be used to repeat information to people without becoming impatient. He also thought AI could be used for the collection of information, especially if it concerns something that people may have difficulty sharing with someone in person.

Using AI to help with documentation

The article also talks with a lawyer who says AI might be helpful in cases where there is a lot of documentation to sort through, stating that arbitration moves more quickly than the courts, and as such, discovery has to be done in a much faster manner. He told the Law Times, ““If there is an effective method for reviewing [large amounts of] documents for relevant information that could take place in a matter of weeks or days as opposed to years, that’s of great interest.”

Assessing the situation

One thing lawyers spend a lot of time doing with clients is taking in information about a situation and determining what the likely outcomes could be. Benjamin Alarie, who works with a company producing research tools available to lawyers told the Law Times that technology exists to allow lawyers to feed information to AI, which can then be used to predict possible outcomes. However, Alarie also warned about the potential limitations of technology, saying, ““Right now, we have various safeguards against bias by having trial courts and appellant courts and increasingly large panels of judges hearing appeals as you kind of rise up through the ranks of the litigation process.”

What about people?

Even with the introduction of AI into alternative dispute resolution, people (including lawyers) are still going to be needed to be aware of the limits of AI and to make final decisions regarding recommendations technology may make. However, if AI can use used to reduce the hours a lawyer has to work on a file, there could be significant savings for everyone, particularly clients.

At Gelman & Associates, our experienced alternative dispute resolution family law lawyers can help facilitate a cost-effective, low-conflict, resolution of your family law matter. To protect your mental health during a difficult period, we also offer our clients a free consultation with a psychological professional if required. We can be reached online or by  by phone at 1-844-769-0737.