Speaking ahead of Lawyers Weekly’s inaugural Future Forum, Julian Uebergang (pictured), managing director of Neota Logic Asia Pacific, said given the vast array of opportunities technology provides, those who don’t adopt it are at significant risk of being left behind.
“I think in all sectors technology is used to add effect, not only by enabling efficiency but also to provide a better service to customers,” he said.
“Those firms that don’t think along those lines and provide those different services to their customers, I think, will definitely be superseded by innovative solutions that other firms are providing.”
Mr Uebergang said the benefits of adopting technology, particularly artificial intelligence, far outweigh any negatives.
“Artificial intelligence generally builds efficiency between the client and the firm,” he said.
“Most transactions that lawyers are typically involved in are centred around email or some sort of document that’s fairly static, so I think there’s a lot of opportunity to create solutions that streamline that interaction.”
However, Mr Uebergang noted it’s important for both law firms and in-house teams to understand the problems they’re trying to solve or the efficiencies they’re attempting to create, rather than using technology just for the sake of it.
“Technology is an enabler, so ultimately an understanding of the problems you’re trying to solve is really important. Establishing what the customers need from an interaction with a lawyer and then working backwards is a really smart way to think about providing a solution,” he said.
“That may lead to technology, it may lead to AI, but it also may lead to some other innovation that can be leveraged to better provide that service.
“It’s important not to start with the technology, but understand the business problem before you focus on the technology.”
Commenting on his upcoming session at the Lawyers Weekly Future Forum, Mr Uebergang said he hopes attendees will walk away with a clearer perspective on the digital revolution and what it means for legal professionals.
“Artificial intelligence has this connotation that robots are going to take over everybody's jobs. That certainly isn't going to happen,” he said.
“Hopefully I'll bring a bit of balance to that argument and just really focus on some of the things that are possible and that are achievable with this technology.
“I really want people to understand how technology helps with innovation and efficiency, rather than taking over people's roles. Really I hope people get a bit of understanding about how technology can be used effectively and how it is being used effectively.
“A lot of firms are doing smart things with AI technology and technology generally, so I want to talk about what is possible and steer away from the doomsday scenario that often gets talked about when we think about artificial intelligence.”
The inaugural Lawyers Weekly Future Forum will be held in Sydney on 9 November 2016 and in Melbourne on 11 November 2016, featuring many high-calibre speakers.
To learn more about the event or to register, click here.