2018 A Legal Research Odyssey: Artificial Intelligence as Disruptor

110(1) Law Lib. J. ___ (2018)

47 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2017 Last revised: 2 Jun 2020

See all articles by Jamie Baker

Jamie Baker

Texas Tech University School of Law

Date Written: November 21, 2017


Cognitive computing is revolutionizing finance through the ability to combine structured and unstructured data and provide precise market analysis. It is also revolutionizing medicine by providing well-informed options for diagnoses. Analogously, ROSS, a progeny of IBM’s Watson, is set to revolutionize the legal field by bringing cognitive computing to legal research. While ROSS is currently being touted as possessing the requisite sophistication to perform effortless legal research, there is a real danger in a technology like ROSS causing premature disruption. As in medicine and finance, cognitive computing has the power to make legal research more efficient. But the technology is not ready to replace the need for law students to learn sound legal research process and strategy. When done properly, legal research is a highly creative skill that requires a deep level of analysis. Law librarians must infuse law students with an understanding of legal research process, as well as instruct on the practical aspects of using artificial intelligence responsibly in the face of algorithmic transparency, the duty of technology competence, malpractice pitfalls, and the unauthorized practice of law.

Keywords: Automation, Legal Research, Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Law Librarian, Cognitive Computing, DeepQA

Suggested Citation

Baker, Jamie, 2018 A Legal Research Odyssey: Artificial Intelligence as Disruptor (November 21, 2017). 110(1) Law Lib. J. ___ (2018), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2978703 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2978703

Jamie Baker (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford Ave.
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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